First ‘luxury’ space hotel due to open in 2022

Five-billion-star hotel: A stay on the Aurora Station would cost around £560,000 per person per night.

Would you go on holiday to space? Such a trip will soon become easier, with the opening of the first space hotel. The Aurora Station promises guests “the experience of being an astronaut”.

What’s happening

Bored of the beach? An American company may have the holiday for you: 12 days in orbit around Earth. The Texas-based firm Orion Span is building the Aurora Station, a luxury space hotel. To stay on it, you will just have to wait four years, then train for three months. Oh, and pay £6.7 million.

Find out more

The Aurora Station is due to open in 2022. The snug spacecraft will fit four guests and two staff. Passengers will get to see their home towns from 200 miles up, as well as plenty of sunrises and sunsets (one orbit will take 90 minutes). They will float in zero gravity and take part in scientific experiments, like growing food.

Space tourism is not new: seven people have paid astronomical sums to stay on the International Space Station. However, it is getting cheaper, thanks to the rapid technological progress made by companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Orion Span’s boss Frank Bunger calls space “the final frontier for our civilisation”. For now, only the very rich can reach it. If things continue as they are, that could change. Would you go?

Some say…

Space tourism will never take off. First, the physical effects of being in zero gravity are awful. Astronauts complain of nausea, confusion, insomnia and worse. And for what? Two weeks inside a cramped cabin. Plus, there will always be a cost barrier — the complex technology and safety precautions mean that space will never be open to the masses.

Others think…

Hang on — we are talking about space travel here. The opportunity to see Earth from above is worth any discomfort. Astronauts talk about the sheer beauty of that sight, and often mention that it makes them feel more connected to their fellow humans. If more and more ordinary people can experience that, our planet will become a better place.

You Decide

  1. If you had £6.7 million, would you spend it on this?

Activities

  1. You are going to spend 12 days on board the Aurora Station. Make a list of everything you will bring with you.

Some People Say...

“Wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”

Neil Armstrong

What do you think?

Word Watch

Zero gravity
A state in which very little (but not quite zero) gravity acts on the body, making it pretty much weightless.
Astronomical
Very big. The word comes from “astronomy”, the study of outer space (where distances are very big).
International Space Station
A satellite on which astronauts from various countries live and work.
Elon Musk
Musk is also behind Tesla, which makes self-driving cars.
Frontier
A limit beyond which humans have not explored.

Subjects

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