Orbiting our planet 320 kilometres above the Earth's surface, one company Orion Span dreams of running the first luxury hotel in space.

It will be a hotel to the stars surrounded by the cosmos.

The Aurora Space Station claims that in three years it will be "equipped for a remarkable astronaut experience that can be had nowhere else in the known universe."

Running sorties in space suits, Orion Span promises 12-day itineraries "that will change your life."


Though details are light on what these itineraries might involve, it promises to be out of this world.

"Reserve now" teases a button on the official launch page of orionspan.com.

Right now the company is taking waiting list deposits of $80,000 "in US Dollars or in a cryptocurrency of your choice", though it's impossible to say at this stage exactly how much the trip would cost.

As a guide price, competitors in the space tourism race Virgin Galactic and Space X are offering tickets to space for around US$250,000 ($362,000) - though neither venture has taken a paying client off the ground yet. Currently there have been fewer than ten private space tourists, and their tickets are reported to have cost millions.

As a privately owned space station, Orion Span's business model is supported by a mixture of space tourism dollars and research grants.

Although it has billed itself as a "luxury" experience - the reality is fairly Spartan, as each milligram of weight of equipment, food and even the crew is carefully assessed.

It is hoped that the minimal luxury onboard will be offset by the richness of the experience.

"We're not selling a hey-let's-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space," said Orion Span's founder and chief executive officer, Frank Bunger. "We're selling the experience of being an astronaut. You reckon that there are people who are willing to pay to have that experience."


It could be up and running within years, promising to welcome guests as early as 2022. The company's ambitions appear to be running on rocket fuel, though it may have hit a snag.

Sadly, the dreams of an international space station came crashing down at the beginning of the month, after the founders struggled to find seed funding for the lofty business proposition.

In shooting for the stars, the company fell well short of the required amount of US$2 million ($2.9 million) in a seedfunding campaign.

The website hosting their bid was taken down shortly after the January 25 deadline.

However – on last inspection - it showed the company salvaging just US$235,700 ($342,000) from potential investors in the space hotel.

The company passed up the opportunity for a statement with magazine Space News, with spokesperson Courtney Merolle saying "it's a bit hectic right now and we are going to have to pass on this opportunity."


The ambitious launch date and modest asking price of around $65 million ($94 million)_ to build, is notably quicker and cheaper than any space station launch to date.

Orbit: The station will orbit the earth every 90 minutes. Photo / Supplied
Orbit: The station will orbit the earth every 90 minutes. Photo / Supplied

The plan is laudable, but the 2022 deadline and razor-thin margin for delays and additional technical expenses make the venture seem less grounded in reality, and more of a "moonshot".

In space, no one can hear you dream.

Space tourism: Reality vs expectations

Holiday planning

The Aurora is no "fly and flop" resort. As well as researching the holiday, potential clients have to undergo rigorous physical checks to make sure they are in best health.

Nasa astronauts typically undergo 24 months of training, however Orion Span says it has "streamlined" the training programme into a manageable 3 months.


Training "in spacecraft systems, contingency training and weightlessness practice" takes place in Houston, Texas. Failing either these theoretical or physical units will put an end to your dreams of a holiday in space. At least it promises to patrons an opportunity to get into shape.

Grow your own: Astronauts Scott Kelly, right, and Kjell Lindgren eat salad grown as part of a Nasa research mission. Photo / Supplied, Nasa
Grow your own: Astronauts Scott Kelly, right, and Kjell Lindgren eat salad grown as part of a Nasa research mission. Photo / Supplied, Nasa

Luxury dining

You will struggle to get any Michelin-star meals in space.

Although astronaut food has improved dramatically from the dismal 'food in a tube' of the early space missions, it's nothing to write home about.

It's also pricey. On the International Space Station the cost of getting food into orbit is astronomical. By the time it arrives on a restocking mission, your standard bottle of water will cost an eye-watering $10,000.

Aurora does offer the chance for space tourists to cultivate a nutritious and healthy-living vegetable plot in space - though this will be as part of research programme into "growing food in orbit."

Fly and flop: Space tourists must complete a 3-month training course. Photo / Supplied
Fly and flop: Space tourists must complete a 3-month training course. Photo / Supplied

Holiday sickness

Getting sick on holiday is never fun, but in space it could be disastrous. While medical help on hand is rudimentary and the nearest hospital another planet away – the least life threatening illnesses could be equally dramatic.

From motion sickness to rushes of blood to the head, apparently astronauts are prone to fainting.

Then there is the very real issue of vomiting in zero gravity.

This is a trip not to be taken lightly.

A good night's sleep


More than jetlag, there many factors that will get in the way of a good night sleep in space.

"Every 90 minutes we complete an orbit, meaning you'll see day & night over Earth hundreds of times during your 12-day stay," says the company's press release.

That sounds romantic, but it plays havoc with your circadian rhythm. The eternal starry sky can be maddening.

Although the experience of zero gravity is what many would-be astronauts are most intrigued by – it makes lying down almost impossible.

You will find no luxury bedding in space. Instead, astronauts on the ISS currently catch their allotted rest in sleeping bags, tied to the walls.

A holiday bach in the great beyond


If a 12-day trip to outer space sounds too short, (and the details haven't put you off) the company is also designing "condos available for purchase".

"Like a city rising from the ground, this unique architecture enables us to build up Aurora Station in orbit dynamically - on the fly - and with no impact to the remainder of Aurora Station."

While it might be far removed from most people's ideals and the comfort of a holiday bach, a private condo on a space station promises to be a piece of home (really far) away from home.