Tourists will have to have deep pockets to visit the final frontier of deep space as the trip costs a staggering $640,000 a night.
NASA has confirmed the first ‘hotel’ module for trippers will soon be attached to the International Space Station and the launch date for vacations in orbit is likely to be some time in 2022.
The venture is a joint project for NASA and private corporation Orion Span.
The US space agency has just announced that Orion Span’s Aurora Station will have access to the ISS through a docking port.
The module will be split between research labs for private business to rent and a residential area for visitors that looks out on Earth through a large viewing window.
Bookings open for 12-day trips
The 12 day trips will go on sale for an eye-watering starting price of $9.5 million.
Guests get 384 sunrises and sunsets in an orbit 200 miles above the Earth. The space hotel has room for four paying guests and two crew at a time. Private suites are available for couples.
Bookings are already open for a refundable $80,000 deposit – which can be paid as cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
“We want to get people into space because it’s the final frontier for our civilisation,” said Orion Span’s founder and chief executive officer, Frank Bunger. “Orion Span’s offering won’t be for everyone. Launch and re-entry are not for the faint of heart.
“We’re not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space. We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut. We reckon that there are people willing to pay to have that experience.”
Flights of fancy
Other projects aiming to send tourists into space are also underway.
They include Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is planning sub-orbital trips with his Blue Origin corporation and billionaire Elon Musk will run tourist trips through his SpaceX program.
A humourous look at life in space for tourists has recently launched on HBO with comedy show Avenue 5, starring Hugh Laurie as the captain, which pokes fun at what might go wrong on a flight when things go out of control.