If you’re looking for a hotel with an exceptional view, you’re only 6 years away from the best view of all time. The world’s very first – but most assuredly not its last – space hotel is slated to open in 2027. With an unprecedented commercial space experience for vacationers, the Gateway Foundation’s ambitious design is everything your inner child dreamed of when they hoped to grow up and be an astronaut.
Gateway Foundation Announces Plans
In 2019, Gateway Foundation shared plans for a space cruise-ship hotel that they called the Von Braun Station. After a few years of design and refining, and the project has a new name – Voyager Station.
Comprised of 24 modules that will be spun around a center axis to mimic gravity, the Voyager Station is being fabricated by the ambitious and dryly named Orbital Assembly company. The project was originally named after 60-year-old designs made by aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun, whose name was a controversial choice due to his involvement in Nazi engineering projects. After a new name was picked and a new direction chosen, plans got underway to turn the fantastic into reality.
CNN writes, “‘The station is not really about him. It’s based on his design, and we like his contributions towards science and space,’ [Head of Gateway Foundation John] Blincow said. ‘But you know, Voyager Station is so much more than that. It is the stuff in the future. And we want a name that doesn’t have those attachments to it.’
Space tourism is becoming an increasingly hot topic, and there are several companies trying to make it happen — from Virgin Galactic to Elon Musk‘s SpaceX.
SpaceX’s StarShip system could help get Voyager Station off the ground.
‘We cannot call SpaceX our partner, but in the future we look forward to working with them,’ Blincow told a recent live event promoting Orbital Assembly, advising viewers to ‘hang tight.'”
What Will It Be Like to Stay in Space?
Gateway hopes to offer more than just a hotel; they’re hoping to expand to research and training modules that can be used to help astronauts on their way to Mars and other extraterrestrial destinations. But in the hotel, you can expect a proper space experience.
Washington Post explains, “Tourists will need to undergo some training (both safety and physical) before boarding their SpaceX Starship shuttle to Voyager Station, which is designed to accommodate 280 eight guests and 112 crew members. That will include people there for space tourism alone, scientists conducting low-gravity research and service industry professionals doing what they do best — but in space. These included world-renowned chefs Blincow plans to work with who will have the chance to build out (electric and fire-free) kitchens for the space station.
‘It’s a historic moment,’ Blincow said. ‘You’re going to have the top chefs making really, really good food. And when you pay $5 million to go someplace, it’s not going to be burgers and fries.'”
There will be a gymnasium where people can take advantage of the lunar-level gravity. Your earth-level jump shot will launch you five times higher, so there will either be exceptionally high basketball hopes – or a lot of accidental flybys.
Freeze-dried astronaut staples like ice cream will be available to enrich the experience, and Blincow says they plan to have concerts and shows, encouraging big-name stars like Sting and Beyonce to get ready for their biggest shows off Earth.
And perhaps the most exciting amenity – guests will be able to go on a spacewalk.
When Can You Lift Off?
Right now, no opening day has been given but 2027 is their goal. Gateway is currently collecting investors to expand their project quickly, and Blincow promises that things will move quickly once fabrication begins.
Although the logistics of putting a luxurious hotel in space seem daunting – it comes with an equally daunting price tag. With Blincow’s casual mention of $5 million stays, it’s possible that this experience will remain available only to the very wealthy and the very lucky for a long time to come.
However, while Gateway is the first, it’s not likely to be the last. Once production and logistics are worked out, it’s possible pricetags will drop dramatically. Don’t give up, space lovers. The future is just around the corner – and we’re ready for it.