A Room With A View – Of The Solar System!

Mankind has had an obsession with space for eternity!

In the latest news in the space travel and tourism sector, US-based company Orbital Assembly is set to launch an off-world tourist trap as early as 2025.

Orbital Assembly has announced plans to launch two space stations to accommodate tourists in Earth’s orbit. Guests will peer into the dark gaps between the stars at the ground-breaking space hotel – a holiday that could help extra-terrestrial tourists come to terms with the great unknown.

The Voyager Station is designed to house 400 people and scheduled to open in 2027. The design consists of several modules that form a rotating wheel that orbits Earth. 

Impatient holidaymaker? Don’t want to wait that long to sleep amongst the stars?

The Pioneer Station is slightly smaller, accommodating 28 people and could be open for business in just three years. Set to operate on the same fundamental concept as Voyager -shaped like a wheel, rotating to simulate gravity using centrifugal force- guests would be able to walk around, eat proper food, and enjoy a drink without it floating away. Near the centre of the station there would be no artificial gravity, but as you move down the outside of the station, the feeling of gravity increases. Microgravity environments will allow guests to jump and float around as if they’re on the Moon. 

Unlike the International Space Station, which was designed as a research facility first with the minimum requirements to keep people alive, Orbital Assembly’s stations are designed “for people first”. Apart from the meteor backdrop, showers and toilets would be functional in a similar way to those back home.

Although close to a sci-fi dream, Orbital Assembly founder Tim Alatorre has admitted a stay on the stations will be closer to the ISS than a full-blown luxury hotel. Office spaces and research facilities will also be up for rent on both Pioneer Station and Voyager Station. 

Safety on the station is the company’s number one concern and all critical systems have redundant backups. Catastrophic failures like that seen in Hollywood are either not realistic or so improbable that staying on Earth would see guests in the same amount of danger.

Any space trip comes with a pretty unbelievable price point attached, and Alatorre admitted that in the short term, the Pioneer and Voyager stations will not be widely accessible. Virgin Atlantic charged US$450,000 to merely fly to the ‘edge of space’ – 88km from Earth (basically just very high in the sky!) – but Alatorre hopes that Orbital Assembly can eventually make space travel and tourism accessible to everyone. 

Seems that waking up to a view of the solar system is not as many lightyears away as we think!