Why investors are betting big on real estate in outer space

A 12-day stay at a newly-announced luxury space hotel costs $9.5 million.

TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Apr.April 07, 2018 10:17 AM

(Credit from back: Pixabay, Hashoo Foundation USA)

Real estate in outer space is next frontier — at least according to investors who’ve poured nearly $8 billion into space startups since 2015.

For a taste of what these firm do, consider Houston-based startup Orion Span that’s touting space travel for an all-time low of about $791,666 per night where guests take a 12-day trip, which works out to a $9.5 million in total, to make-believe they’re real astronauts, according to Bloomberg. And Orion is not an outlier; many firms are starting to take advantage of the relatively lower cost of blasting off.

“Almost every week there’s another rocket launch company that’s starting up with a new way to get to orbit cheaper, faster, better,” Orion founder and CEO Frank Bunger told Bloomberg.

Those lower costs enabled Bunger’s team to propose their luxury hotel, Aurora Station, a 35-by-24-foot vehicle that will orbit Earth at a distance of about 200 miles. There’s room for four guests per trip and two crew members, but, be warned: luxury in space is not the same as it is on Earth.

“We’re not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space,” Bunger said to Bloomberg. “We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut.”

Other firms are manufacturing units that can be leased out for storage space, among myriad other ventures. But, according to President Barack Obama’s former space policy adviser Phil Larson, though “the commercialization of LEO (low Earth orbit) is an exciting prospect,” and investors are already willing to put their money where their mouths are, the question of demand is still uncertain. [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson


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