Houston company wants to launch first luxury space hotel into orbit

Space hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes

Millionaires may be jetting off on zero-gravity holidays as soon as 2022, at least according to Orion Span, a Houston-based company that has begun accepting down-payments for “the first luxury hotel in space”.

To buy one of four spots on the Aurora Station, guests need to put down a fully-refundable deposit of US$80,000. Travellers would be charged US$9.5 million for a 12-day stay aboard the space craft.

Space hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes

On board, guests will enjoy the sensation of zero gravity and take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit. They can stay in touch or live stream with their loved ones back home via high-speed wireless Internet access.

Soaring 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit, Aurora Station will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, meaning guests aboard will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.

Prior to take-off, guests will have to undergo a three-month acclimatisation at Orion Span’s training facility in Houston.

The concept of leisure space travel has been generating buzz for years now, especially since a successful landing by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in 2015 that alerted the world to the feasibility of reusable rockets and by implication, space travel for “the masses”.

Numerous companies have been raising funds to make space travel for non-astronauts a reality, the more prolific of which include Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, StratoLaunch and Bigelow Aerospace.

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