Artist's illustration of Orion Span's planned orbiting hotel, Aurora Station. Credit: Orion Span

Topics: Economy, Existentialism, Space Travel, Politics

Well-heeled space tourists will have a new orbital destination four years from now, if one company's plans come to fruition.

That startup, called Orion Span, aims to loft its "Aurora Station" in late 2021 and begin accommodating guests in 2022.

"Affordable" is a relative term: A 12-day stay aboard Aurora Station will start at $9.5 million. Still, that's quite a bit less than orbital tourists have paid in the past. From 2001 through 2009, seven private citizens took a total of eight trips to the International Space Station (ISS), paying an estimated $20 million to $40 million each time. (These private missions were brokered by the Virginia-based company Space Adventures and employed Russian Soyuz spacecraft and rockets.)

"There's been innovation around the architecture to make it more modular and more simple to use and have more automation, so we don't have to have EVAs [extravehicular activities] or spacewalks," Bunger said of Aurora Station.

*****

Elysium or the Elysian Fields (Ancient Greek: Ἠλύσιον πεδίον, Ēlýsion pedíon) is a conception of the afterlife that developed over time and was maintained by some Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. Initially separate from the realm of Hades, admission was reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes. Later, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous, and the heroic, where they would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life, and indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life. Source: Wikipedia

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In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, IMDB

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Rockets, moon shots

Spend it on the have-not's

Money, we make it

Before we see it, you take it

[Chorus]

Oh, make you want to holler

The way they do my life

Make me want to holler

The way they do my life

This ain't living, this ain't living

No, no baby, this ain't living

No, no, no

Marvin Gaye, "Inner City Blues," Genius.com/lyrics

"All science and engineering has a moral and philosophical component. It is imperative that as future scientists you pursue your research ethically, thinking also of your impact on society going forward." Quoted from the post "Freedom and Responsibility," October 30, 2017.

'Luxury Space Hotel' to Launch in 2021, Mike Wall, Space.com

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