Naturally, many are reasonably skeptical that Aurora Station will ever be fully realized, let alone by its prospective 2022 launch date. Still, two of Orion Span’s executives are former NASA employees, and the company argues that its business plan will allow it to keep the costs relatively low.
“We will offer full charters to space agencies who are looking to achieve human spaceflight in orbit for a fraction of the cost -- and only pay for what they use,” Orion CEO Frank Bunger said in a press release. “We will support zero gravity research, as well as in space manufacturing. Our architecture is such that we can easily add capacity, enabling us to grow with market demand like a city growing skyward on Earth. We will later sell dedicated modules as the world’s first condominiums in space. Future Aurora owners can live in, visit, or sublease their space condo. This is an exciting frontier and Orion Span is proud to pave the way.”
However, as Bloomberg points out, Orion doesn’t have any official launch partner yet for initial flights or ones that’ll shuttle guests, and the 2022 launch date may actually just be a ploy to gauge interest from potential travelers actually willing to pony up the kind of money needed to get the operation literally off the ground.
In any case, it couldn’t hurt to start saving now if you’re in the mood for a truly one-of-a-kind way to spend your PTO.