Are you saving up those hotel points and travel miles to take you someplace exotic when this whole pandemic is over? You just might want to hold on to them a bit longer because soon, you may be able to use them to go to a destination that is literally “out of this world.”
The Gateway Foundation has announced that its plans for the world’s first “space hotel,” which it announced pre-COVID in 2019, are on schedule to open for business in 2027!
A bit has changed since that first announcement. The venture, which was then called Von Braun Station, is now known as Voyager Station. It is set to be built by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a new construction company run by former pilot John Blincow, who also heads up the Gateway Foundation.
In a recent interview with CNN Travel, Blincow explained there had been some pandemic-related delays, but construction on the space hotel is expected to begin in 2026, and a sojourn in space could be a reality by 2027.
“We’re trying to make the public realize that this golden age of space travel is just around the corner. It’s coming. It’s coming fast,” said Blincow.
When the initial designs premiered a couple years ago, they consisted of 24 modules connected by elevator shafts that make up a rotating wheel orbiting the Earth. If that sounds a little like the spinning space wheel space station from 2001, Tim Alatorre, senior design architect at Orbital Assembly Corporation, says any such comparisons stop at the exterior look of the station.
He told CNN Travel that the hotel’s aesthetic was a direct response to the Stanley Kubrick movie, which he called “almost a blueprint of what not to do.”
“I think the goal of Stanley Kubrick was to highlight the divide between technology and humanity and so, purposefully, he made the stations and the ships [in 2001] very sterile and clean and alien.”
Instead, Alatorre and his team want to bring a slice of Earth to space via warm suites and chic bars and restaurants. Guests might be in space, but they can still enjoy regular beds and showers.
But the hotel will not be ignoring the fact that you are in space altogether. There will be recreational activities that “highlight the fact that you’re able to do things that you can’t do on Earth,” according to Alatorre.
“Because of the weightlessness and the reduced gravity, you’ll be able to jump higher, be able to lift things, be able to run in ways that you can’t on Earth.”
How Does it Work?
The one thing Kubrick got right is the idea of a rotating space station. Alatorre told CNN Travel that the rotating wheel would work to create a simulated gravity.
“The station rotates, pushing the contents of the station out to the perimeter of the station, much in the way that you can spin a bucket of water — the water pushes out into the bucket and stays in place,” he said.
Near the center of the station, there’s no artificial gravity, Alatorre explained, but as you move down the outside of the station, the feeling of gravity increases.
So far, no room rate for a stay at Voyager Station has been given but expect to pay quite a bit more than a typical night at a Holiday Inn.
Virgin Galactic, for example, plans to launch passengers into sub-orbital space at $250,000 per person per trip.
However, the team behind Voyager Station have said they’re hoping to eventually make a stay at the hotel equivalent to “a trip on a cruise or a trip to Disneyland.”
I wonder if they will be serving Romulan Ale or Saurian Brandy at the lobby bar?
How about you, would you want to stay at a hotel in space? Please reply using the comments below!