If you’re daydreaming of future travels while stuck at home during the pandemic, why fantasize about the beaches of Bali or the canals of Venice when vacationing in space could be in your future?
Back in 2019, Californian company the Gateway Foundation released plans for a cruise ship-style hotel that could one day float above the Earth’s atmosphere.
Then called the Von Braun Station, this futuristic concept — comprised of 24 modules connected by elevator shafts that make up a rotating wheel orbiting the Earth — was scheduled to be fully operational by 2027.
Fast forward a couple years and the hotel has a new name — Voyager Station — and it’s set to be built by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a new construction company run by former pilot John Blincow, who also heads up the Gateway Foundation.
In a recent interview with CNN Travel, Blincow explained there had been some Covid-related delays, but construction on the space hotel is expected to begin in 2026, and a sojourn in space could be a reality by 2027.
“We’re trying to make the public realize that this golden age of space travel is just around the corner. It’s coming. It’s coming fast,” said Blincow.
Renderings of what the hotel might look like suggest an interior not dissimilar to a luxury Earth-bound hotel, just with some pretty spectacular out-of-this-world views.
When the initial designs premiered a couple years ago, Tim Alatorre, senior design architect at Orbital Assembly Corporation told CNN Travel the hotel’s aesthetic was a direct response to the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” — which he called “almost a blueprint of what not to do.”
“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.”
Instead, Alatorre and his team want to bring a slice of earth to space via warm suites and chic bars and restaurants. Guests might be in space, but they can still enjoy regular beds and showers.
That’s not to say the hotel will ignore the novelty of being in space altogether. There are plans to serve traditional “space food” — like freeze dried ice cream — in the hotel’s restaurant.
Plus there will be recreational activities on offer that “highlight the fact that you’re able to do things that you can’t do on Earth,” according to Alatorre.
“Because of the weightlessness and the reduced gravity, you’ll be able to jump higher, be able to lift things, be able to run in ways that you can’t on Earth.”
So how exactly would the physics of a space hotel work?
Alatorre told CNN Travel that the rotating wheel would work to create a simulated gravity.
“The station rotates, pushing the contents of the station out to the perimeter of the station, much in the way that you can spin a bucket of water — the water pushes out into the bucket and stays in place,” he said.
Near the center of the station there’s no artificial gravity, Alatorre explained, but as you move down the outside of the station, the feeling of gravity increases.