In this latest article of our regular ‘futures’ feature, exploring what the travel industry of tomorrow may look like, we explore the Voyager Station – a hotel in space which is scheduled to open its airlocks to visitors in just six years time!
The Gateway Foundation has announced that it intends to open the first hotel in space in 2027.
Voyager Station will be built by construction company Orbital Assembly Corporation, which describes itself as “the world’s first large scale space construction company”.
According to the organisation, construction of the 50,000-square-metre facility will start in 2026 with the first passengers visiting the hotel in 2027.
When it opens, the rotating hotel will have rooms for up to 440 people. The rotating ring-shaped form will give the station gravity equivalent to one-sixth of the Earth’s.
“Going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation.” Or how about the next company conference?
The Gateway Foundation originally revealed its design for the space hotel, which was then called the Von Braun Space Station, in 2019.
At the time, its senior design architect Tim Alatorre explained that the aim of the project was to make visiting space accessible to everyone.
“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,” Alatorre said. “Because the overall costs are still so high most people assume that space tourism will only be available to the super-rich, and while I think this will be true for the next several years, the Gateway Foundation has a goal of making space travel open to everyone.”
Hotel will contain restaurants, bars and gyms
Since its first launch, Orbital Assembly Corporation has revealed more details about the structure and its construction.The first element to be built will be a central un-pressurised ring structure that will contain the docking hub at its centre. Following this, the 200-metre-diametre outer ring truss will be assembled and connected to the central ring by a network of spokes.
This ring will support the 24 habitation modules, which will be used for hotel accommodation, restaurants, bars, gyms, crew accommodation and scientific research pods.
Interiors will have “natural materials and colours”
According to the organisation, Voyager Station will be designed to have the “feel of a luxury hotel”, with comfortable interiors that reject the sleek futurist look often depicted in films.
“In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s Space Station 5 is a sterile, white, museum-like hotel,” explained Alatorre. “While it made for a clearly futuristic feeling in the movie, in reality, it wasn’t a very inviting space. As humans, we innately connect to natural materials and colours.”
Voyager Station will contain a range of holiday accommodation options with 500-square-metre “luxury villas” that will be available to be rented for a week, month or permanently. These villas will have sleeping space for 16 along with three bathrooms and cooking facilities. Alongside the villa, the space station will have numerous 30-square-metre hotel suites that will have beds for two people and a private bathroom.
According to the Gateway Foundation, as the space hotel has gravity, guests should expect a similar experience to visiting a high-end hotel, with restaurants that “will rival the best venues on Earth”. Guests will be able to relax in a triple-tier bar with a water feature that “will seemingly defy the laws of physics”.
“We are planning on full-service kitchens with all of the dishes you would expect on a luxury cruise ship or in a major hotel,” said Alatorre. “A lot of the logistical issues for food service have been worked out years ago by the cruise ship industry.”
An activity and gym module with seven-metre-high ceilings will be used for low-gravity games. At night it will be used as a concert venue where “the biggest musicians on Earth will rock the station as it circles the planet”.
Voyager Station was originally planned to open in 2025, but coronavirus-related delays have pushed this back to 2027 said the company.
To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.
You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.
Travel is changing. But with common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers should have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be business as (un)usual.