SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

First luxury hotel in space announced

Want to see 16 sunrises in one day? Float in zero gravity? Be one of the few to have gazed upon our home planet from ...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 2:27 PM

Want to see 16 sunrises in one day? Float in zero gravity? Be one of the few to have gazed upon our home planet from space?

In just four years' time, and for an astronomical $9.5 million dollars, it's claimed you can.

What's being billed as the world's first luxury space hotel, Aurora Station, was announced Thursday at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.

Developed by US-based space technology start-up Orion Span, the fully modular space station will host six people at a time, including two crew members, for 12-day trips. It plans to welcome its first guests in 2022.

"Our goal is to make space accessible to all," Frank Bunger, CEO and founder of Orion Span, said in a statement. "Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quickly and at a lower price point than ever seen before."

Astronaut experience

While a $10 million trip is outside the budget of most people's two-week vacations, Orion Span claims to offer an authentic astronaut experience.

Says Bunger, it has "taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travelers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost."

During their 12-day adventure, the super-rich travelers will fly at a height of 200 miles above the Earth's surface in Low Earth Orbit, or LEP, where they will witness incredible views of the blue planet.

The hotel will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, which means guests will see around 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.

Hometown hero

Activities on board include taking part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit -- which guests can take home for a super-smug souvenir -- and soaring over their hometown.

Guests can have live video chats with their less-fortunate loved ones back home via high-speed wireless Internet access and, upon return to Earth, will be greeted with a specially arranged hero's welcome.

While enjoying the thrills of zero gravity, the travelers will be able to float freely through the hotel, taking in views of the northern and southern aurora from the station's windows.

Deposits are already being accepted for future stays on the space hotel. The $80,000 is fully refundable, should applicants find themselves unable to rise to the full $9.5 million.

Travelers will complete a three-month Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) program before take-off. Orion Span has a team of space industry veterans who together have more than 140 years of human space experience.

Chartered trips

Orion Span isn't the only venture boldly pushing the frontiers of elite travel into space.

Axiom Space, a Texas-based company with a former International Space Station manager at the helm, has plans to put a commercial space station in orbit by 2024.

It says it will begin to take tourists to the ISS in 2019 and later to its own station.

As yet, Axiom hasn't priced its off-world excursions, but says it'll be considerably lower than the tag paid by previous space tourists like Dennis Tito, who stumped up a reported $20 million for a seven-day trip in 2001.

Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson with the aim of taking passengers briefly into sub-orbital space, will charge for $250,000 for its trips. Branson originally said flights would begin in 2009, but an official date has yet to be set for its maiden voyage.

Whatever the price tag, the tourist demographic with spare cash for space jaunts is presumably quite small.

However, Bunger says that Aurora Station "has multiple uses beyond serving as a hotel."

It plans to offer fully chartered trips to space agencies and support zero gravity research and space manufacturing.

Adds Bunger: "Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand."

Orion Span's next mission? To launch the world's first condominiums in space.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 276500

Reported Deaths: 3321
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin590031089
Ramsey24988472
Anoka19724213
Dakota19215176
Washington12538106
Stearns1226689
Scott753854
St. Louis740897
Wright663436
Olmsted610130
Sherburne512539
Clay445155
Carver409712
Blue Earth373511
Rice361431
Kandiyohi348215
Crow Wing316130
Nobles296028
Chisago28398
Otter Tail266615
Benton261940
Winona246128
Mower236722
Polk228621
Douglas219829
Morrison211621
Lyon193711
McLeod18879
Beltrami184615
Goodhue177626
Becker17559
Itasca168924
Steele16756
Todd165312
Isanti165015
Carlton153610
Nicollet146523
Freeborn13935
Mille Lacs132830
Le Sueur13219
Waseca129710
Cass12018
Pine11926
Brown117510
Meeker10797
Roseau9923
Martin98220
Hubbard97022
Wabasha9121
Dodge7850
Redwood78018
Watonwan7754
Chippewa7697
Sibley7094
Renville70818
Cottonwood7060
Wadena7006
Aitkin68923
Pipestone67018
Rock6439
Houston6152
Fillmore6050
Yellow Medicine56611
Pennington5356
Kanabec52911
Murray5283
Swift4976
Pope4820
Faribault4750
Stevens4442
Clearwater4356
Marshall4277
Jackson4091
Lake3584
Unassigned34356
Koochiching3325
Wilkin3275
Lac qui Parle3203
Lincoln3141
Norman3096
Big Stone2771
Mahnomen2494
Grant2346
Red Lake1903
Kittson1856
Traverse1330
Lake of the Woods871
Cook580

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 213603

Reported Deaths: 2193
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31707324
Linn13442161
Scott1040375
Black Hawk10393127
Woodbury9932114
Johnson911635
Dubuque879290
Story647619
Dallas602856
Pottawattamie585166
Sioux351925
Webster335930
Marshall332942
Cerro Gordo326541
Clinton307737
Buena Vista291114
Muscatine270366
Des Moines270116
Plymouth259537
Warren258510
Wapello242871
Jones222212
Jasper206639
Marion194418
Carroll190920
Lee190315
Bremer182612
Henry17087
Crawford170615
Benton160315
Tama146340
Jackson13758
Delaware136221
Washington131313
Boone128811
Dickinson127510
Mahaska121327
Wright11625
Buchanan11009
Page10834
Hardin107510
Clay10624
Clayton10234
Harrison102328
Hamilton10157
Cedar101413
Calhoun10047
Mills9886
Fayette9768
Floyd96914
Lyon9668
Kossuth9464
Poweshiek93712
Butler9134
Winneshiek90310
Iowa88011
Winnebago87523
Louisa81316
Hancock8067
Grundy79710
Chickasaw7893
Sac7817
Cherokee7624
Cass75419
Appanoose7426
Shelby7265
Allamakee72411
Mitchell7184
Union7096
Guthrie70815
Emmet70623
Franklin68419
Humboldt6645
Madison6474
Jefferson6351
Palo Alto6064
Unassigned5950
Keokuk5397
Pocahontas5192
Howard5069
Greene4980
Osceola4941
Clarke4614
Davis4405
Ida43910
Montgomery43210
Taylor4312
Monroe42912
Adair4157
Monona3932
Fremont3463
Van Buren3364
Worth3360
Lucas3076
Decatur3000
Wayne2876
Audubon2831
Ringgold1892
Adams1551
Rochester
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Mason City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Albert Lea
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Austin
34° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Charles City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Dense Fog Expected Through Wednesday Morning
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events