We once scoffed at the idea of recreational space exploration, but with Virgin Galactic’s Gateway to Space now completed and test flights successfully conducted, the future might be closer than we think. Your out-of-this-world vacation however, might soon be a lot longer than the firm’s promise of a few minutes of weightlessness, thanks to the Von Braun Rotating Space Station — the world’s first space hotel.
Designed by The Gateway Foundation, an institution specifically created to establish a commercial space port, the Von Braun Station’s biggest goal — if it’s completed on time in 2025 — is to break the stereotype that travelling beyond the earth’s atmosphere is only for the rich. Instead, it’ll be “just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World,” according to the port’s senior design architect, Tim Alatorre.
Although greatly informed by a concept developed by its namesake Wernher von Braun, the space station will be built on technology inspired by the International Space Station, except there’s also a 190-metre diameter wheel that rotates to create a gravitational force that’s similar to that of the moon. This will make stays — both long and short — a lot more pleasant than merely floating around all day.
Around this wheel sits 24 individual modules that will each be outfitted with sleeping accommodation and life-support systems. When the project kicks off, The Gateway Foundation is planning to sell several modules as private residences, a few to governments for research, and the rest, to remain a luxury hotel.
Don’t expect its interiors to look as sterile as the Apollo 11 though; the Von Braun Station will be a much more inviting space with the use of natural materials and warm-hued lights. After all, top hotels in New York, Paris, and Tokyo were a part of the design team’s mood board. There will also be amenities such as restaurants, bars, a cinema, and somehow, a rock climbing wall. There’ll be a court for low-gravity basketball, making your dunking dreams come true, alongside trampolining facilities. The big plan is to put field trips to the moon or other space stations on the itinerary someday.
For now, the Gateway Foundation expects the hotel to accommodate 100 guests per week when the Von Braun Station launches in 2025, and up to 10,000 when two more stations join the orbit five years later. Now all that’s left to do, is to wait for Richard Branson and Elon Musk to give their thumbs up for their commercial space flight ventures.