There may come a day when visiting a space hotel will be a normal vacation option. And that day may come faster than you think.
"Eventually, going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation, just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World," Tim Alatorre, the senior design architect for the Von Braun Rotating Space Station, which could become the world’s first space hotel, told Dezeen.
The Von Braun Rotating Space Station will likely be the first commercial space station in history. It is due to be completed in 2025, and some people are already calling it the first space hotel in history.
Alatorre spoke to Dezeen about the design for the space station, making it sound like the world’s most futuristic and luxurious getaway. The station will have “many of the things you see on cruise ships: restaurants, bars, musical concerts, movie screenings, and educational seminars," Alatorre said.
Hotel visitors will have fancier technology than what’s on board the International Space Station (ISS). Space tourists will have toilets and showers that function more like what’s on Earth. Drinking water will be brought from our planet and non-potable water will be recycled throughout the station.
The space station will have different modes of gravity throughout, some with about one-sixth of the gravity present on Earth and other spots featuring near-zero gravity. Guests will be able to partake in low-gravity basketball, low-gravity trampolining, and rock climbing.
Mock-ups for the hotel show rooms that would fit in a trendy urban hotel — except the views are much better. Space tourists could, realistically, see the curve of the earth from their hotel bed.
And guests wouldn’t have to eat pre-packaged, dehydrated space food. Alatorre said the hotel will feature “full-service kitchens with all of the dishes you would expect on a luxury cruise ship or in a major hotel.”
Eventually, tourists will be able to go on space “field trips,” heading to other space stations or the moon. Developers hope the space station will one day be used as a “port” for those continuing onward to the moon or Mars.
The space hotel will be able to accommodate 100 guests per week when it launches.
By 2030, Von Braun hopes to expand to have at least two stations in orbit. By that time, the station could host 200 tourists per week and have at least 500 people living permanently in orbit. That would mean a total of about 10,000 people could visit space per year.
There isn’t much new technology that needs to be used for the space station. Von Braun will expand upon technologies already in use on the ISS.
What the station is waiting for is for commercial flights to space to become a reality. (After all, it doesn’t matter how good the station is if nobody can get there.) Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are the frontrunners for getting tourists into space. Virgin Galactic is expected to make its first commercial flight later this year, with SpaceX expected to take tourists to space by the end of 2020.
Alatorre said he believed that, while the cost for the first few years will be exorbitant, eventually prices should decrease, meaning space could become a viable tourism destination.
There is some competition to be the first hotel to open in space. The Aurora Station is an inflatable hotel that would orbit the Earth and is accepting reservations for 2022.
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