Your name might not be Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, or even George Jetson for that matter, but space travel has arrived for the average Joe or Jill with the means. Frank Bunger, CEO of Orion Span (orionspan.com), takes us on a delightful narrative journey through the preparations his company is making to deliver the actual journey, to space, as soon as 2022!
With Orion Span’s project, Aurora Station, a luxury space hotel, Bunger seeks to make another giant leap for mankind, toward long-term colonization of space. Through frequent space visits to stations such as Aurora Station, Bunger’s hope is that visitors will become more comfortable with the idea of long-term living in space. Surprisingly, Bunger explains that Aurora Station can be built for tens of millions of dollars as opposed to his competitors’ typical estimations in the hundreds of millions for space station architecture construction. Through Orion Span’s innovation in space station operation, Bunger details how his company is able to build and maintain at lower costs overall. From heating systems to waste management, Orion Span is changing the financial equation and innovating along the way.
The space hotelier provides an overview of the journey to Aurora Station and the daily activities of the adventurous travelers. Aurora Station will be in orbit, approximately 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. What Bunger has learned from feedback given by sub-orbital visitors is that people generally want an experience not just a ‘trip,’ and Aurora Station, with its impressive agenda and activity schedule over a 12-day stay, provides that. Training experiences and exercises, virtual reality simulation, and astronaut type training (including real space-oriented scientific experiments) are all on the Aurora Station activity list.
Additionally, Aurora Station provides a 100% zero gravity experience the entire stay unlike sub-orbitals that deliver only a few moments here and there. Bunger also discusses many of Aurora Station’s innovations that will make visitors’ stays more comfortable. One simple example would be lighting cues in the station that provide some comfort to visitors, giving them a sense of ‘up’ and ‘down’ directions, for in a zero gravity environment, there really is no ‘up’ or ‘down’ per se.
The space travel CEO also provides some insight into the possible advances in medicine that space existence in zero gravity might provide, from cancer research to organ growth. Bunger discusses the possibilities for exciting research in the medical field, and how the ISS (International Space Station) team is already pushing forward in many scientific areas. And Bunger delivers an interesting overview of the preparations for medical emergencies, micrometeoroids, travel to and from, etc. While the journey and stay is not for everyone, for those who have an adventurous spirit, Aurora Station will provide a truly life-changing experience. After all, traveling at roughly 20,000mph in orbit is not really something you get to do every day.