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Frank Bunger really wants to launch a hotel in space that’s affordable to the masses. But a future stay at his proposed Aurora Space Station keeps getting more expensive.
Bunger, founder and CEO of Orion Span, said in a new interview with the University of California that his orbital hotel will be “like a small cruise ship” where guests will take the role of citizen scientists.
“People want to feel what it’s like to be a professional astronaut. So they will spend a good part of it being citizen scientists,” said Bunger. “We want to grow food. And we’re also going to have just some fun activities. Even something as mundane as ping pong gets a lot more exciting in zero gravity because the ball goes everywhere, as does the paddle.”
Bunger told the UC Berkeley newsroom that 26 people have already paid the $80,000 deposit to reserve their stay.
Now all they have to do is make it through the company’s customized and personalized training regiment, which Bunger said could take anywhere from two weeks to three months.
Oh, and they’ll also have to wait for the Aurora Space Station to actually get built and launched into space.
According to Bunger’s new interview, the company still needs to model, build, insure, test, launch, test a second time but in space, and finally book its orbital space hotel.
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All that will take years to accomplish, but Orion Span is currently in the process of raising millions of dollars to make it a reality. Bunger says he thinks they can get the orbital space station ready by 2021.
Previously, Futurism reported that a trip to the space hotel would cost only $9.5 million. Now the price has climbed up to $12.5 million for a 12-day trip, according to the new interview.
It’s no surprise that private space tourism is going to be hella expensive. But despite Bunger’s repeated statements that he wants Orion Span to drive down the cost of off-world vacations, they’ll likely remain a plaything of the rich for the foreseeable future.
READ MORE: Space dreams: Alum Frank Bunger’s quest to make space tourism a reality [Haas Newsroom]
More on space tourism: The First Luxury Hotel In Space Shows Affordable Space Tourism Is Still A Long Way Off