You Can Now Book a Stay at the World's First Space Hotel

iStock
iStock

Looking for an exotic vacation destination with stellar views? If you're willing to wait a few years, you may be able to stay aboard the Aurora Station, a luxury space hotel that developer Orion Span plans to have open to guests by 2022.

According to The Architect's Newspaper, the hotel will be the world's first fully-modular space station, if Orion Span's current timeline comes together. It will also be the first space station to operate as a hotel. The initial capsule will be 43.5 feet long and 14 feet wide, with extensions potentially being added to accommodate more guests.

To experience the Aurora in person, guests will first need to complete a three-month training program. That includes an online course, classes at Orion Span's training facility in Houston, Texas, and final training on the space station itself. While that's a lot more prep time than what's required for your average hotel stay, it's just a fraction of the time invested by astronauts training on Earth.

Once on board the Aurora, up to six passengers, including professional astronaut guides, will share a 35-foot-by-14-foot living space. Orion Span's website reads:

"At an altitude of 200 miles, your views will be far superior than those of other space destinations: close enough for great detail and photographing your hometown, far enough to get a glimpse of our broader pale blue dot. With an orbit complete every 90 minutes, you'll see countless sunrises and sunsets."

Start-ups have been promising to pioneer space tourism for years, but so far these plans have been mostly talk and little action. If Orion Span wants to be different, it will need to raise a lot of funding and find a launch provider in just four years, and the company has yet to reveal how it plans to do either. Even if the project does make it off the ground, booking a ticket will be difficult for most people: A 12-day trip will cost $9.5 million per person, and reservations for the first four months have already sold out.

If you're still interested, you can contact Orion Span to put down your refundable $80,000 deposit.

[h/t The Architect's Newspaper]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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Space Hero, a New Reality Show, Wants to Send You to the International Space Station

The ultimate ocean-view getaway.
The ultimate ocean-view getaway.

One lucky astronomy enthusiast may soon have the chance to see space without committing to a massive career change. As Travel + Leisure reports, an upcoming reality show called Space Hero is looking to send a civilian to the International Space Station (ISS).

You won’t need a degree in astrophysics or decades of engineering experience to enter, but a passion for space exploration is a must. The series will reportedly follow a group of contestants as they compete in challenges that reflect what actual astronauts have to go through, and viewers might get to vote for their favorite participant. The winner will then spend 10 days aboard the International Space Station, and the rest of us will watch it all unfold from home.

The series is a collaboration between a space media company called Space Hero Inc. and Axiom Space, the private aerospace company founded by NASA’s former ISS program manager Mike Suffredini. Axiom will oversee all the space-related elements of the show, from training the contestants to planning the journey itself, which is tentatively scheduled for 2023. As for how the winner will get to the ISS, they’ll likely be aboard one of SpaceX’s Dragon rockets.

Plenty of details are still up in the air. We don’t yet know, for example, how people can apply or audition for a spot on the show, who will host it, or where we can watch it. According to Deadline, it’s meant to be a worldwide phenomenon: Producers intend to hold an international search for contestants and broadcast the series across the globe.

While you’re waiting to find out how to toss your space helmet in the ring, here are 17 odd things we’ve sent to space.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]