Space hotel promises out-of-this-world experience
Now that the era of space tourism is upon us, people who want to spend more than a few minutes in suborbit will need a place to stay. At least, that’s the dream of the Orbital Assembly Corporation. The roster is full of NASA veterans, and their goal is to build a space hotel that will welcome guests by 2030. With featured amenities such as a spacewalk and simulated gravity, it promises to be a billion-star vacation.
Building in Space
As you might expect from a space hotel thought up by NASA alums, the engineering is going to be something else. The Voyager Space Station will be circular, with a 650-foot diameter. Propulsion modules will keep it rotating constantly to provide artificial gravity comparable to the gravitational force on the moon. The rotation will also ensure that each room has an Earth view at least part of the time.
To put all this together in space, Orbital Assembly will deploy semiautonomous robots. In June, the company unveiled its Demonstrator Station Truss Assembly Robot (DSTAR), which can build hundreds of feet of truss in less than an hour.
“Watching the DSTAR assemble the six-ton truss framework and expand to the length of a football field as it will in space was a thrill for everyone,” COO Tim Alatorre said. “We are on track for our first mission launch deadline scheduled for 2023.”
The next step is sending the Prototype Station Truss Assembly Robot (PSTAR) into low Earth orbit, which Orbital Assembly hopes to do in 2023. PSTAR’s mission will be to assemble 156 feet of truss in a ring, paving the way for the full-scale space hotel perhaps opening as early as 2027, complete with gym, spa, and specialty restaurants.
The Height of Luxury
Plans for the Voyager Station space hotel include two-person suites measuring about 325 square feet and luxury villas topping 5,000 square feet and sleeping up to 16. Guests could rent a villa for a week stay or even purchase one for a real home away from home.
“We are planning on full-service kitchens with all of the dishes you would expect on a luxury cruise ship or in a major hotel,” Alatorre told Dezeen. “A lot of the logistical issues for food service have been worked out years ago by the cruise ship industry.”
Space favorites Tang and freeze-dried ice cream will be there, but Voyager Station promises a true gourmet experience to rival Earth’s finest dining establishments.
The gym will have ceilings over 20 feet so you can really rock the rim with gravity-defying dunks. At night it will “transform into a concert venue where the biggest musicians on Earth will rock the station as it circles the planet.”
Will It Actually Happen?
We want to believe, but 2027 is not that far away and we’ve seen promised space hotel opening dates come and go. Orbital Assembly has already pushed the date back from 2025, though it says the delay is because of COVID-related supply issues not because of technology problems. We will say this for Orbital Assembly, they unveiled DSTAR as promised and appear to be meeting stated deadlines.
There’s even a button to make a reservation on the Voyager Station website. Although we encountered a “temporary bug” when trying to create a profile and weren’t able to request a reservation — not exactly what you’re hoping for when planning a journey so far from home. Imagine getting all the way up there only to have the front desk tell you they don’t have a booking for you.
Whenever Voyager Station opens, we’ll be there (maybe we can book with points?). And when the band comes out, we’ll be the ones loudly requesting “Free Bird.”