Amazing Places

The First Luxury Space Hotel Is Taking Reservations

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all. And sometimes, you really need to get away from it all. Wouldn't it be great if you could just launch into space for some private time? The only thing that could make it better would be if there was a luxurious, zero-G hotel room waiting for you. Good news — that hotel is taking reservations (assuming you can afford it).

Holiday Inn Orbit

Welcome aboard Aurora Station. Well, not quite yet. The world's first space hotel isn't slated to launch until 2021, and won't welcome its first guests until 2022. But if you've got $80,000 to spare, you can make your reservation right now. It makes sense to plan ahead — Aurora will be just 44 feet (13 meters) long and 14 feet (4 meters) wide, and only take four guests at a time. Even if you're prepared to throw that kind of cash down right now, be aware that the $80K is just a fully refundable deposit. The full price is projected to be in the neighborhood of $9.5 million (which is still a lot cheaper than the $20 million that Lance Bass was asked to pony up for his canceled trip to the International Space Station).

You have to spend a lot of Gs to get to zero-G, but what other amenities will you get for your money? $9.5 million buys you a three-month training program to prepare you for blastoff and the chance to participate in extraterrestrial science experiments, not to mention a series of 16 sunrises and sunsets condensed into your 12-day stay (good luck finding that in an Earth-bound suite). But probably the most exciting sight will be the natural phenomenon that lends the station its name — both the Northern and Southern Lights will unfold 200 miles below you every single day.

Excuse Our Stardust

The hotel hasn't launched yet, but already its developer Orion Span is planning future renovations. From the very beginning, Aurora Station will have the potential to expand, with ports to connect to new modules and living quarters as demand requires. But adding more rooms to the hotel is only a part of the company's long-term goals. Those new modules might take many different forms — Orion Span would like to build space manufacturing facilities and laboratories for zero-gravity research as well. Someday, it might even offer a more permanent home to its residents. The idea of space-condos might sound far-fetched, but that's exactly how Orion Span foresees this project developing. We'll say this — we might not be able to afford the space-mortgage, but we're certainly interested in a cosmic timeshare.

The era of private spaceflight is in full swing, and you can read all about it in Julian Guthrie's "How to Make a Spaceship." With a foreword by Richard Branson and an afterword by Stephen Hawking, it paints an incredible portrait of our future among the stars. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

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Written by Reuben Westmaas May 10, 2018

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