Startup Orion Star is offering customers a chance to do research and go on vacation in their custom-built space station.
The last time you planned a vacation you may have said that you just needed space or you wanted to get away from it all. For people like me, that usually means a nice week out in nature or a hiking vacation through various national parks but why stop there, why not the moon?
All jokes aside, today's startup Orion Span wants to make your dream a reality...er if your dream is actually leaving Earth's atmosphere.
So your friends were pretty impressed by your trip to Rome last year? Why not top it off with the ultimate luxury hotel, outside of Earth's atmosphere at the Aurora Station. Think 20 minutes from your mother-in-law is too close? Well with Orion Span, you will be 200 miles above Earth's surface.
The accommodations include private couple's suites, the experience of weightlessness, an authentic astronaut experience and transportation to your hotel (well...duh).
Believe you were meant for something special? Join us aboard Aurora Station for a 12-day adventure that will change your life. Experience the thrill of zero gravity, watch the aurora borealis, grow food in space, or dive into our holodeck, for the world's only authentic astronaut experience.
Fly Me To The Moon
Though many details about their space hotel haven't been released, the tech behind their Aurora Station has been detailed online. Their proposed station would be 43.5 feet long, 14.1 feet in diameter and have a pressurized volume of 5650 cubic feet.
In the future they hope to offer their space hotel experience (which they're hoping to make available by 2022), space condos (in case you're super rich and super weird) and various space services like access to their research center and assistance with a range of low Earth orbit missions.
Orion Span's proprietary technology is behind their orbital community, their space station which functions as their space hotel as well. They hope to host tourists, astronauts, space researchers and other staff for various purposes at their station.
The Aurora Station is designed to be manipulatable depending on the demand for their services. For instance, if they run out of space, they can develop a similar space station and attach it to the radial hub of the initial one.
This makes their second greatest venture possible, space condos. Condos can be built up allowing for the maximum number of condos to be added easily to the original frame. If you feel so inclined, you're invited to request more information, either for your own condo or the start your business as the owner of multiple condos.
Orion Span's Mission is to Build and Sustain Human Communities in Space Accessible to All. Through technological innovation, Orion Span cuts the cost of living in space by an order of magnitude over others. We will not rest until our shared destiny in the stars has been realized.
Let me play among the stars
Orion Span promises an authentic astronaut experience. For them, this means offering customers the possibility of earning their Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC). The entire experience includes a warm welcome aboard with the customer being treated as an astronaut in training. They will be able to contribute to space research and enter their virtual reality Holodeck which is only available aboard their space station.
It's not just busy work either, the work that customers contribute to is actually important for the future of people living outside of the planet. An example of such research is research done on self-sustaining space colonies which grow their own food and are self-contained. Their wifi assures a direct connection with friends and family on Earth so the informal astronauts aren't missing home too much.
All visitors to the space station have to complete training before their first visit. Orion Span's 3-month program is meant to be a quickie version of the traditional two-year training provided. For traditional astronaut who belongs to a space agency that doesn't have access to space flight or a base, Orion Span welcomes you with open arms!
Space agencies can pay only what their astronauts use aboard the Aurora Station, avoiding higher costs of self-established space flight programs. Researchers are also invited to conduct their research in a zero gravity (microgravity) environment. Best of all Orion Span subsidizes the cost to host research for any qualifying institution.
Go Big or Go Home
It will be interesting to see how Orion Span comes through with its product. 2022 is very soon for a launch date for this kind of project and many who have seen similar ideas flop are standoffish.
Considering the high proposed cost of taking flight, long-term residents of their space condos will also have to consider the possible health risks that astronauts experience upon their returns to Earth.
These risks, like vision loss and muscle degradation, may be avoidable with a better understanding of how they occur and limits on the consecutive stints spent by each user out in space.
Still, the prospect of escaping Earth's orbit and problems for a seamless, quiet and unique vacation is a once in a lifetime chance. I have to admit if I had the money I'd be mightily tempted.