Space tourism is already a reality and we could soon live in a world where regular commercial space travel exists too. Alongside this, one of the most intriguing possibilities is that you may have the chance to stay overnight in a space hotel. In this article, we take a look at some of the potential offerings and explain how you can already book a place.

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Space Tourism Explained

Before explaining the process of booking a space hotel, it may be useful to gain a deeper understanding of what space tourism is, how it has developed and exactly who the major players in the industry are. This will help to provide valuable contextual information and highlight how quickly advances have been made.

Read “Space Tourism: 5 Space Companies That Will Make You An Astronaut” to find out more about the history of space tourism, the biggest companies in the field, and even some of the past stories of failure.

Dennis Tito: The First Tourist in Space

A crucial milestone on the path to the opening of the first space hotel was the first successful flight into space from a tourist, rather than a trained astronaut. This achievement occurred in 2001, when the American businessman, Dennis Tito, paid the Russian Space Agency to fly him to the International Space Station.

Check out “Space Tourist: Who Was The First Tourist in Space?” to read more about Dennis Tito’s trip into space and the story of exactly how he became the world’s first recognised space tourist.

How to Book a Space Hotel Yourself?

At present, the two main proposals for a space hotel come from Orion Span and the International Space Station (ISS). In the sections below, you will be able to find out how to book a space hotel stay.

Orion Span

In terms of private aerospace companies with concrete plans for a space hotel of their own, the main example to point to right now is Orion Span. At the heart of the organisation’s proposal is the Aurora Space Station, which is intended to be placed into low Earth orbit, where it will then function as a luxury space hotel.

The current plan is for the luxury hotel on the Aurora Space Station to have room for up to six people at any one time, which will amount to two professional crew members and four paying tourists for each stay.

Of course, at least initially, the cost of going to Orion Span’s luxury space hotel is going to be extremely high, meaning it will only be available to those with money to spare. In fact, the initial pricing set by the company is for the full two-way trip and hotel stay to cost $9.5 million, with an $80,000 deposit required per person.

It is currently possible to make a reservation for a trip to the Aurora Space Station and a stay at the luxury hotel by visiting the Orion Span reservation page. You will need to pay an upfront deposit of $80,000 to secure your spot on the waiting list, although this is refundable in the event that you change your mind and no longer wish to go.

Video: Orion Span – First Luxury Space Hotel

Space tourists will have a new orbital destination four years from now, if the plans of Orion Span come to fruition. Orion Span, aims to loft its space hotel, called the “Aurora Station” at the end of 2021 and start hosting guests in 2022.

NASA International Space Station

So far, the main alternative to Orion Span for those seeking a space hotel is a potential trip to the International Space Station (ISS). While this is a viable alternative, it is likely to end up a significantly more expensive option, because private companies will charge a “taxi fare” to any space tourists who wish to visit.

The possibility of visiting the ISS in this way has come about as a result of partnerships between NASA and both SpaceX and Boeing, which will allow these companies to sell seats on pre-planned trips to low Earth orbit.

For the purposes of actually taking tourists beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, SpaceX intends to use their Dragon capsule, while Boeing’s offering will involve a trip aboard the company’s Starliner capsule. Commercial space tourists are likely to need to undergo medical testing and basic training before they will be allowed on these journeys.

Prior to these agreements being reached, NASA had a policy of opposing the use of the International Space Station for commercial visits. At present, it is anticipated that the actual journey to the ISS will cost around $60 million for a two-way trip, while the charge for staying at the ISS’s tourist accommodation will be around $35,000 per night on top.

Video: A Tour Through The International Space Station (ISS)

NASA Astronaut Sunita (Suni) Williams is giving us the best inside tour of the International Space Station (ISS). How are the astronauts living on the ISS? How are they going to the bathroom? How do you eat food? What kind of special equipment and technology do they need and use?

Voyager Station & Pioneer Station Space Hotel by Orbital Assembly

Two space hotels are planned for development by Orbital Assembly Corporation, which is a company focused on space station construction project. The most significant of these hotels, Voyager Station, is a large-scale luxury space hotel, which is designed to accommodate up to 400 lodgers at any given time, including a crew of around 100 people.

The Voyager Station is intended to be a rotating wheel space station, with partially artificial gravity. The idea is to host space tourists, but also business travellers, manufacturers, researchers, staff and crew. Visually, the Voyager Station will be defined by its vast, circular appearance and may also include purchasable villas.

It is hoped that the Voyager Station will be able to achieve various levels of artificial gravity, mimicking experiences travellers would gain from visiting the Moon or Mars. The space station will also host entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, a gym, and various other facilities associated with high-end hotels.

Construction on the Voyager Station is expected to begin in 2026. A similar space hotel, Pioneer Station, is also planned, with development expected to begin in 2025. This is intended to function in a similar way, using artificial gravity, but it is designed to host far fewer travellers at a time, with current plans for a maximum of 28 occupants.

Video: First Space Hotel by Orbital Assembly Corporation

Booked Your Space Hotel? How to Get there?

As the space tourism industry grows, it is likely that more and more space hotel options will become available. This will open up the possibility of booking the hotel and travel options separately and the following companies all have plans in place to provide space transportation for commercial customers.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic is one of the biggest companies aiming to provide travel into space and a solid potential option for future trips to a space hotel. The organisation has already carried out a number of test flights into space and is aiming to be able to provide regular commercial flights into low Earth orbit in the near future.

It is also worth noting that Virgin Galactic is one of the few businesses that has already started to sell flights to paying customers. You can learn more by reading “Virgin Galactic: Information About Virgin Space Flights”.

SpaceX

When it comes to private companies offering flights into space for tourists, SpaceX is arguably the main competitor to Virgin Galactic and so maybe another good option for your future trip to a space hotel. Elon Musk’s company has clear experience in putting humans into space and is hoping to provide a range of flight options in the near future.

In the longer term, SpaceX has extremely ambitious aims, including taking people on lunar trips and even on trips to Mars. To learn more, read “SpaceX Information: Rockets, Spacecrafts and Spaceflights”.

Blue Origin

Another option for those looking for travel to a space hotel may come from Blue Origin, which is the aerospace company set up by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The company has designed and built a new vertical take-off rocket, the New Shepard, and is intending to attach a passenger capsule, allowing it to take customers on trips into space and back.

Blue Origin is hoping to offer regular space flights by the mid-2020s and has already performed multiple successful test flights. You can find out more by reading “Blue Origin: Information About Blue Origin Space Flights”.

Boeing Starliner

Finally, Boeing may also be able to provide you with the means to reach your space hotel, thanks to their Boeing Starliner. Designed in partnership with NASA, it will be able to take paying customers into space and, potentially, to space hotels that are situated on space stations orbiting the Earth.

As a result of the company’s partnership with NASA, the Boeing Starliner flights will be operated with a crew of NASA or NASA-sponsored astronauts. Customers will also have their own spacesuit to wear during the trip.

The Ultimate Guide to the Space Industry

If you are interested in booking a space hotel, you may also be interested in learning much more about the space industry as a whole. For example, do you know how the space industry is defined? Are you familiar with the history of space exploration? How much do you know about the different sub-sections of the space industry?

Perhaps you would like to find out more about space tourism, or maybe you are unsure what terminology like “NewSpace” means. Fortunately, you can find all of this and more in “Space Industry: The No. 1 Guide into Space!”

With multiple concrete proposals now on the table that would allow you to enjoy a future space hotel stay – as well as the ability to reserve a place in the luxury hotel planned for the Aurora Space Station already – it is safe to say the reality of overnight stays in space is fast approaching, and a new age of tourism will soon be upon us.

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