The Space Age is here! As privatised space travel shoots celebrities into space, companies are looking for new ways to profit off-world. For some, that's a space-based movie studio; for others, a real-life Space Hotel.
If you're bored of all the typical Earth vacation spots — Magaluf, Bora Bora, et cetera — maybe the expanse of space will do the trick. However, you will have to wait quite a while, and have a large amount of cash to spend.
Gateway Foundation's Voyager Station
Reported by CNN, California-based startup The Gateway Foundation is working on a new form of space tourism. The company is working to create a commercial space station to house a variety of services, including a hotel.
These services are set to be housed on Voyager Station, an in-development space station. The project was initially revealed in 2019 as an atmosphere-floating cruise ship. However, shortly afterwards, the project was re-envisioned the Von Braum Station before receiving its current name.
The space station has been proposed as a huge rotating wheel with spokes connecting different sectors. This spinning isn't just to look cool, but instead to offer stimulated gravity, similar to how the Earth moves.
Those who venture into the station’s core won't find any artificial gravity. However, in the normal civilian modules, gravity should be at least a close approximation of daily life. Unfortunately, some may experience a feeling similar to sea sickness.
What about the space hotel?
Voyager Station’s flagship Space Hotel will be designed in a similar manner to hotels on Earth. In fact, outside of owing offering beautiful views of space and Earth, the hotel is attempting to stray away from the general look of spacecraft.
Speaking to CNN, senior design architect Tim Alatorre explained that they went for the exact opposite aesthetic of movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey. Alatorre said that they used the classic sci-fi film as a “blueprint of what not to do.”
“The goal of Stanley Kubrick was to highlight the divide between technology and humanity,” Alatorre said. “Purposefully, he made the stations and the ships very sterile and clean and alien.”
Despite this, Voyager Station will play into the novelty of space travel a little bit. For example, typical space food — such as freeze-dried ice cream — will be available. Additionally, numerous activities designed to take advantage of space’s benefits will be designed.
Voyager Station is set to up and running by 2027. Initially, plans for the locale were expected to be finished by 2026. However, multiple delays had to be issued due to the ongoing COVID crisis.
Of course, all of this comes at a massive cost. The Gateway Foundation hasn't explained how much a stay at the hotel will cost its customers. Additionally, it’s not known how much travel to the hotel will cost, or how much returning to Earth will be.
Of course, there's also another cost: environmental cost. Rockets are not exactly environmentally friendly. In fact, they're the opposite, and running a hotel will require frequent use of rockets to transfer staff, customers and resources to the station.