These upcoming space hotels with out-of-this-world views promise a truly unique experience. Start dreaming of a whole new area to explore.
Now that space flights are not just fanciful dreams, the next step in space travel is on the horizon – space hotels. A number of them are readying for business in Low Earth Orbit and it’s only a matter of a few years before you can conquer the final frontier.
Axiom Space, co-founded by a former NASA International Space Station manager, might just have its two billion USD AxStation ready within a couple of years, including a luxury hotel for those who can afford the stay. While media was abuzz with rumours that actor Tom Cruise has booked ahead, sneak peeks of the plans reveal cosy egg-shaped pods with walls padded for safety, panoramic windows, and French interior designer Phillipe Starck’s signature décor. LED lights that change hues and can stream video might seem straight out of a Black Mirror episode, but it could be a reality quite soon. An Earth Observatory lounge with crockery and glassware that’s designed to work in microgravity will serve up food that should appeal to all Earthlings.
What you need: Invest a little over 5.5 million USD, 15 weeks of training, plus 10 days of living in simulated space on Earth, to get to this first-of-its-kind stay.
A new level of luxury
Meanwhile, Orbital Assembly Corporation’s Voyager Station has announced that it could be ready to receive guests as early as 2027. Imagine a Ferris-wheel-style structure that revolves around our planet in 90 minutes, with gravity that’s comparable to what you experience on the moon (roughly one-sixth that of the Earth’s). Almost 300 guests can check in to this space hotel (after some training and fitness checks). The Voyager Station plans to create artificial gravity using centrifugal force, as the giant wheel spins to simulate gravity in its pods.
To be constructed in orbit using automation and telerobotics, it will probably be the largest manmade structure in space when complete, with 24 habitation modules, including a restaurant, event centre, and research section. But don’t worry, unlike earlier trips to space that cost up to 25 million USD and involved long stays in zero-gravity environments, using vacuums for toilets, and often sleeping in a bag strapped to a wall, the new space experience is considerably easier and way more luxe.
According to Orbital Assembly, “Voyager Station will leverage the technologies of Space and the comforts of Earth to create a unique experience unparalleled in history. Simulated gravity will offer amenities like toilet facilities, showers, and beds that function similar to what you are used to on Earth.”
They say their hotel suites are a great place to book for a three-day trip or rent for a month. Slated to be 320 square feet, they will contain private bathrooms and sleeping accommodations for up to two people. They have also planned 5,300 square feet Luxury Villas that can be booked for a week, rented for a month, or purchased as a vacation home. They feature cooking facilities, three bathrooms, and sleeping accommodations for up to 16 people. The estimated starting cost? About five million USD per head.
The high-ceilinged gym (over 23 feet high!) will be accessible 24/7 and fitness enthusiasts will enjoy jumping, running, and playing sports in the low-gravity environment. Working out while watching the space-scape from the lower-level gym that’s equipped with weights and treadmills will also be a thrilling experience. The designers have envisaged the transformation of this same area into a nightly concert venue where the biggest musicians on Earth will rock the station as it circles the planet.
The sky bar, much like 10 Forward in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is planned as the hub to socialise, make new friends, and enjoy a drink. Comfortable seating and views out three window levels offer the best views in the station. Quirky design features will include a curving flow of water cascades from the ceiling to the restaurant below and the option of jumping off the balcony to land gently on the lower level by taking advantage of the reduced gravity!
You’ll enjoy space classics like Tang and freeze-dried ice cream in the gourmet restaurant but also look out for some sensational fine dining. The company plans bi-weekly food deliveries to ensure that every bite is fresh and delicious. They may not be able to claim locally sourced and sustainable produce, but we’ll forgive Voyager Station that for the novelty of the experience. And yes, it may not quite be the restaurant at the end of the Universe, but in a space hotel like this one, it’s certain to have oodles of atmosphere.
What you’ll need: About five million USD per head.
We hope these don’t go the way of Orion Span’s Aurora Station, which was being touted as the first commercial, non-governmental one to be built in space. They had plans for travellers could grow food while in orbit, enjoy leisure time on a holodeck, and live stream back home via high-speed Internet over 12-day trips that were being billed at 9.5 million USD. The company even planned to sell space condos in a later phase, before they announced they were shutting down.
But blips aside, this is a whole new world of travel to explore and, as more and more travellers take to outer space, it will probably get more affordable.