Even though people are actively living in space and we’ve “colonized” Mars with robots, space will always be The Final Frontier. Most of us, however, can’t just hop on Booking.com and book a suborbital vacation package. Now, one company is looking to change that with the world’s first space hotel. The ambitious project is scheduled to open in 2027. Here’s everything you need to know.
The original concept for Voyager Station, then called the Von Braun Station, was announced in 2019 with a tentative launch date of 2027. It was surprisingly ambitious with the promise of a luxury-hotel-esque interior featuring everything from gourmet restaurants to rock climbing walls to low-gravity basketball courts. Construction delays and the COVID pandemic set the project back. It’s since been taken over by new construction company Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC). Now, the company’s president, former pilot John Blincow, is motivated, educated, and optimistic that sojourning on his space station in this decade is not only possible but likely.
In an interview with CNN, OAC’s senior designer also assured guests that Voyager Station’s aesthetic would not be reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey. “It was almost a blueprint of what not to do,” said Tim Alatorre. “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 very sterile and clean and alien.”
Modern space travel is indeed a cold, sterile experience. Even today’s most “luxurious” commercial space travel involves “vacationing” in a cramped, zero-g laboratory environment with vacuum toilets and sleeping bags strapped to the wall. If the concepts are realized, Voyager Station will be anything but. OAC promises 125,000 square feet of habitable space, including posh hotel-style suites with mostly traditional beds, baths, and showers. The 5,300-square-foot luxury villas will sleep up to 16 people with three bathrooms and full cooking facilities. With a wheel-and-spoke design that spins around a center axis, the station will create its own artificial gravity (about ⅙ that on Earth) in the living quarters and common areas, so they feel more like their terrestrial counterparts. Guests will also enjoy resort-like amenities, including sleek bars, full restaurants (complete with gourmet dining and NASA-inspired throwbacks like Tang and freeze-dried ice cream), and unique activities that take advantage of the lower-gravity environment. Oversized windows throughout will afford stunning views of Earth and our galaxy from every corner of the station.
Pricing for overnight stays aboard Voyager Station has yet to be announced. For the very first guests, it’s safe to assume it won’t be cheap. Nightly rates aboard the International Space Station currently run more than $30,000 without the fancy five-star amenities promised at Voyager Station. Plus, there’s the matter of actually getting to the station. If Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space rides — currently priced at $250,000 per person — are any indication, the roundtrip transportation won’t be cheap either.
If a trip to Voyager Station doesn’t fit into your travel budget, check out our favorite bucket list trips for space and astronomy nerds. For something a little more exciting, an edge-of-space hot air balloon ride is always an option.
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