The space hotel project was first launched by national provider Gateway Foundation. Now, it is managed by Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), which has cut links with Gateway. In 2021, it was reported that the Voyager Station will be coming in 2027. Last week, the OAC unveiled its upcoming plans for two space stations with tourist accommodation.
This project features the Pioneer Station, which can host 28 people and the Voyager Station, with a capacity of 400 people. The former is slated to be operational in 2025, bringing us Earthlings the chance to wake up to the expansive views of the solar system sooner than later.
Dubbed as the first space business park with gravity, the Pioneer-class will have office spaces and research facilities available for rent. Orbital Assembly released renderings of the interiors and visualises areas that resemble luxury hotels on Earth — steering away from clean, alien and robotic designs that usually project a dystopic future.
Just last month, the Fontana-based aerospace company has also appointed Andre Bormanis, Star Trek writer, NASA scientist and television producer, to the Orbital Assembly Corporation Advisory. Bormanis’ expertise and devotion to educating on space will be a sure contribution indeed. “He will be an extraordinary addition and we are honoured to have his science, space heritage and visionary mind on the advisory board,” said Rhonda Stevenson, CEO of OAC.
How Reachable Is It?
Space tourism seems to be all the rage now, as billionaires continue pumping money into several promising projects. ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner travelled to space in a suborbital spacecraft last year at ninety years of age, making him the oldest person ever to do so. Elon Musk and SpaceX have been undergoing testings for the spacecraft Starship’s eventual flight to Mars. Meanwhile, Space Perspective’s luxurious space lounge in the world’s first zero-emission spaceship is accepting reservations for 2025 and beyond.
When faced with criticism of how the money should be spent on elevating Earth instead, Alatorre countered that “a lot of life-changing technologies” like GPS come from space exploration. In an exclusive interview with CNN, he added that space living would contribute to “sustainable societies” that will change the culture and the way humans think about resource utilisation.
As expected, the price for a peek into space is costly, and not everyone can even begin to entertain the thought of travelling there. However, Orbital Assembly’s CEO, Tim Alatorre, believes the idea of space travel being reserved only for the wealthy “will lift as space tourism takes off”.
Back in 2016, Musk’s SpaceX was able to demonstrate that rocket reusability was feasible and that launch costs could be as low as US$3,000 per kilogram to orbit. And in recent years, the costs have declined to under US$3,000, which could become a few hundred in a couple more years. Meaning to say, in time and after more successful developments of spacecrafts take place, space tourism might just be as accessible as taking planes. After all, Rome was not built in a day. And instead of flying to your destination, your flight to floating in space will be part of the journey and destination.