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When we travel, we want to discover new sights, have new experiences, meet new people, and explore new surroundings. Booking the perfect hotel room often involves finding the one with the best view. What if that view was space – and planet Earth? That could be the future of travel and accommodation if Orbital Assembly has anything to say about it. In fact, the company, which specializes in space station design, aims to open two space hotels within the next few years.
Orbital Assembly's goal is to build two space stations that would offer guest accommodation: Voyager Station and Pioneer Station. The hope is to have Voyager Station, which would house 400 people, operational by 2027. Pioneer Station, though only able to accommodate 28 people, could be available to book as soon as 2025. The company also plans to have office and research facilities available to rent.
The design concepts for both space stations resemble rotating wheels, with tall elevators connecting the various modules like spokes. Guests will eat, drink, and take showers in designated areas with artificial gravity, but there will also be areas with less gravity, allowing them to experience the more adventurous side of being in space. As for the cost? Such an experience is bound to come with a high price tag (though Orbital Assembly won't divulge the specifics), but the company is hopeful that as space tourism becomes more commonplace, prices will go down.
Come fly with me:
- Space tourism isn’t exactly a new concept, dating back to the original space tourist, Dennis Tito, in 2001. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has made the trip to the edge of space, as did Star Trek actor William Shatner. When Shatner, then 90, took his journey with Blue Origin in October 2021, he made history by becoming the oldest person to ever travel into space.
- Wernher von Braun, an aerospace engineer, was the inspiration for the original space hotel name, Von Braun Station. However, because the engineer had been involved in the Nazi rocket development program, Orbital Assembly decided that changing the name to Voyager Station would be best.
- The Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was Orbital Assembly's inspiration for “what not to do” in regards to the space hotels' aesthetic. Rather than cold and sterile, the space hotels will be luxurious and inviting, just as you would expect from a high-end establishment on Earth.