Ever since the Apollo era, people have been promising private vacations in space, orbiting our beautiful world. All of these ambitious plans have not come to fruition, as the enormous costs and challenges of getting to and building in space remain tremendously high.
In theory, a vacation in space holds the promise of an extraordinary and awe-inspiring experience. Imagine gazing out of your spaceship window, marveling at the Earth suspended in the vastness of space, and witnessing the beauty of the universe firsthand.
The weightlessness of microgravity would allow for exhilarating activities like floating and somersaulting through the spacecraft, offering a sense of freedom unlike anything experienced on Earth.
Now, the new era of orbiting hotels is heating up, thanks to some privatization of space technology, and advances in manufacturing.
CN Traveler has an article about these developments, which are ambitious in their scope, and also, should be taken with a grain of salt.
Orbital Assembly Corporation, a space construction company, has plans for two rotating space stations, with blueprints to have the orbiting hotels operational by 2027. Hilton hotels in in consulting mode with Starlab, another private company hoping to have a resort in space. Additionally, Axiom is now sending private citizens to space on the International Space Station, with intentions of having their own hotel in the future.
No doubt the price of a space vacation, when the stations eventually get built, will be huge. One estimate put a 12 day stay at $9.5 million per person. Not exactly frequent-flier mile prices.
“Today, Hilton is in the early phases of consulting on the hospitality design for the private Starlab space station, funded by a NASA contract. That may be a far cry from the Lunar Hilton but it’s the first hotel brand to make any substantive steps toward space tourism.
“[It’s] the manifestation of decades of dreaming,” says Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer at Hilton. The brand’s involvement on the project will be helping develop “accommodations that make sense for your extended stay,” he says. And in the current era of private space day trips, creating comfortable extended stays is the design challenge. “How do you take the things that you’ve become accustomed to [on Earth] and make them comfortable in zero gravity environments?”
The giant leap for space hospitality will be ensuring it doesn’t feel like you’re “paying to go camp in a laboratory,” Alatorre says. “
It will be a fascinating next decade, to see how these ambitions take shape. Overcoming these hurdles requires groundbreaking advancements in engineering, logistics, and human spaceflight, making the construction of an orbiting space station a monumental undertaking.