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Space Tourism Ready to Take Off With Hotels in Outer Space

I am fascinated by rapidly developing technology and what the world will be like in the future. I hope you enjoy this peek into the future.

In another sign that we are advancing into a new spaced-based era, a number of space-based hotels have been proposed for outer space that will allow people to take vacations while orbiting above either the Earth or the Moon. These far-out hotels are not something being planned for decades in the future. They are currently under development by a number of companies. One scheme will utilize the existing International Space Station, while others are being developed as independent space-based structures that can accommodate guests. If all goes as planned, guests will start taking regularly scheduled vacations orbiting the Earth as soon as 2022.

The proposed space-based hotels will not be the first time private citizens have paid for stays in space. Nine private citizens made trips to the International Space Station from 2001 through 2009 at costs somewhere between $20 million to $40 million for each trip. The difference now is hotels specifically designed for space tourism will be available on-demand for those that can afford the considerable cost of a leisure trip to space.

Orion Span Aurora Station Luxury Space-Based Hotel

Orion Span Aurora Station Luxury Space-Based Hotel

Orion Span to Launch Its "Aurora Station" Space Hotel in Late 2021

A startup company called Orion Span claims it is ready to launch its space hotel, known as Aurora Station, sometime late in 2021. If all goes as planned, the hotel orbiting above Earth will begin hosting guests sometime during 2022.

It appears Orion Span will be the first company to actually launch a structure into space with the intention of it being used as a "luxury" hotel. Their luxury space hotel is being designed to host four guests and two crew members and will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 200 miles (321 kilometers) above the blue marble. The company says a twelve-day stay in their hotel will cost approximately $9.5 million for each guest. They are currently accepting $80,000 deposits for stays on their future space-based hotel.

Wide view of Aurora Station  Showing Earth Backdrop

Wide view of Aurora Station Showing Earth Backdrop

Axiom Space Is Developing a Space Station That Will Include a Hotel

Axiom Space is taking a grander approach to space tourism than other companies currently planning space hotels. The company is planning to develop a private commercial space station starting in 2024, with a proposed completion date of 2028 at a projected $2 billion project cost.

The plan Axiom Space has come up with involves building their private space station as an attachment to the International Space Station starting in 2024. Once started, they will expand the private space station while it is attached to International Space Station until 2028. Once completed in 2028, the Axiom private space station will be detached from the International Space Station and operate on its own orbiting the Earth in space as both a tourist destination and as a center for space-based commerce.

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Axiom Space Stationfor Space Commerce  That Will Include a Hotel

Axiom Space Stationfor Space Commerce That Will Include a Hotel

Bigelow Aerospace Plans Space Hotels That Orbit the Moon and the Earth

Bigelow Aerospace has many space-based hotel ambitions. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company suspended operations in the spring of 2020 and their plans for hotels in space are on hold. Assuming Bigelow Aerospace resumes operations at some point in the future, here’s a look at what they’ve been planning.

One of their plans is the placement of a space hotel made out of inflatable materials that will orbit the Moon. If you’ve dreamed of orbiting the Moon to view its tantalizingly unearthly landscapes, Bigelow Aerospace may be able to accommodate you at some point in the future for a hefty fee. A second proposed Bigelow Aerospace space hotel would orbit around the Earth, providing views of Earth’s landscape only available from space.

The company also was developing plans for leisure trips to the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth approximately 250 miles (402 kilometers) out in space and travels at 17,500 miles per hour, completing a trip around Earth in only 90 minutes. While under development, the cost for Bigelow Aerospace’s one to two-month stay on the International Space Station proposed to be a mind-numbing amount of $52 million per person. Of course, if the company resumes operations it’s quite likely the astronomically high fee will increase due to the effects of inflation.

What Is Driving the Interest in Developing Space Hotels

The recent surge in the development of space hotels is being driven in part by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) plans to send a manned mission to Mars. NASA’s plans to explore Mars using manned missions includes the creation of a space station near the Moon that would be used by Astronauts as a rest stop and supply depot. In an effort to develop this lunar space station, NASA has provided funding to private companies to develop livable space-based habitats. The companies developing livable space-based habitats are turning their technological developments into space hotels.

Space Vacation/Holiday Poll

Aurora Station Luxury Space Hotel

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 John Coviello


Doug West from Missouri on March 16, 2021:

Good article. Sign me up, one problem, I'm about $9.5M short on cash. Maybe I could start a go-fund-me page???

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