2

There is a craze to conquer outer space and people have set their sights on colonization of Mars and other planets. This has increased the pace of Space Tourism, and Sir Richard Branson has already begun work in this direction with his Virgin Galactic. The Russians want to set up a luxury hotel in a portion of the International Space Station ISS, and the latest entrant is Aurora Station of Orion Span.

Sky News reports that during the Space 2.0 summit in California, plans of this venture have been revealed. It will be a 12-day getaway for a total of six persons including two crew members, and they will get to enjoy first-class accommodation in the luxury hotel in space.

It appears to be attractive

Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of developer Orion Span, has indicated the possibility of opening the luxury hotel in 2021. It could become operational the following year, and the picture painted is rosy enough with the ability to watch an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every day.

The guests can experience zero gravity in Aurora Station and participate in activities like growing food in orbit. In the words of Frank Bunger, the hotel will offer space tourism at lower rates compared to others. Of course, travelers will have to undergo a brief three-month training schedule for acclimatization, and the cost of the trip will be $9.5m per person. Those interested can book their berths by paying a nominal advance of $80,000.

Others in the fray

Sir Richard Branson is probably the pioneer in the field.

He had mooted the concept of space tourism, and his Virgin Galactic has been pursuing this vigorously for quite some time. According to CNBC, after a few hiccups, Virgin Galactic has completed its first powered flight in nearly four years. This is a positive indication for those who can afford to pay $250,000. The man behind this project is confident that space tourism can take off in a few months’ time.

Fortune adds that Russia’s space agency Roscosmos is keen to launch a luxury hotel in a portion of the International Space Station [VIDEO]. It this materializes, it will be able to compete with other companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin who have their own plans. The cost for the Russian hotel will be from $40 million. In case the tourist opts for a spacewalk and wants to stay for a month he would have to shell out an extra $20 million.

Aurora Station will obviously be in good company. Tourism is always an attractive venture, but when it comes to space tourism, one has to approach with caution. It is an unexplored area still in its infancy, and there could be pitfalls.