Space company Orbital Assembly has revealed new information and concepts for its space hotel.
The project is now aiming to launch not one but two space stations with tourist accommodations:
- Voyager Station – that will accommodate 400 people, & open in 2027
- Pioneer Station – housing 28 people & could be operational in just three years.
The goal is to run a space “business park” home to offices as well as tourists.
But space tourism is for the rich, right? Tim Alatorre, Orbital Assembly’s chief operating officer, thinks this monetary will ease up as space tourism takes off, telling CNN Travel in a new interview.
The goal has always been to make it possible for large amounts of people to live, work and thrive in space.”
It’s going to get us the opportunity to have people start to experience space on a larger scale, faster.”
Alatorre explained the physics of Voyager Station as working like a spinning bucket of water.
The station rotates, pushing the contents of the station out to the perimeter of the station, much in the way that you can spin a bucket of water — the water pushes out into the bucket and stays in place.”
The look of the exterior of the Voyager is VERY much like the one in Stanley’s Kubrick‘s groundbreaking sci-fi, 2001: A Space Odyssey, although Alatorre, who has a background in architecture, has previously said the hotel’s aesthetic was a direct response to film. He said the film’s interiors were
almost a blueprint of what not to do.
I think the goal of Stanley Kubrick was to highlight the divide between technology and humanity and so, purposefully, he made the stations and the ships very sterile and clean and alien.”
According to Schmoop.com, Kubrick and his designers went all in on the scientific accuracy… Frederick Ordway, scientific consultant on the film, said,
We insisted on knowing the purpose and functioning of each assembly and component, down to the logical labeling of individual buttons and the presentation on screens of plausible operating diagnostic and other data”
Remember, most of this equipment and the spacecraft hadn’t been invented yet and there was no digital technology. It had no real-life counterpart to work from. The technology had to look possible.
The space hotel’s original name, Von Braun Station, was chosen because the concept was inspired by 60-year-old designs from Wernher von Braun, an aerospace engineer who pioneered rocket technology, first in Germany and later in the US.
Von Braun was involved in the Nazi rocket development program, so naming the space hotel after him might not have been the best marketing idea.
Former Orbital Assembly CEO John Blincow, who is no longer associated with the company said in a 2021 interview,
The station is not really about him.
It’s based on his design, and we like his contributions towards science and space. But you know, Voyager Station is so much more than that. It is the stuff in the future.
And we want a name that doesn’t have those attachments to it.”
Alatorre says the space hotel should feel like a
There’s not wires everywhere, it’s a comfortable space where you feel at home.”
As billionaires pump money into space, there’s also a growing backlash against space tourism, with many people suggesting the money could be better spent on Earth. Allatore defends space tourism,
Those kind of closed loop systems are going to change the culture, the way people think about resource utilization
Our environment isn’t just Earth, it’s the entire solar system. And there’s so many resources out there, as we start to utilize and capitalize on those resources that’s going to change and improve the standard of living here on Earth.”
Despite the fact the cost of a ticket to space is currently hefty, according to Alatorre, space tourism won’t just be for billionaires.
We’re doing everything we can to make space accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy.”
For people who are naysayers or doubters, what I’ve always said is
It doesn’t happen overnight. And just wait us out, prove us out. And we’ll show you what we’re doing as we go along and then you can make your judgment.
Give us time. It’s going to happen.”
OK, but if you ask me, it’s back to the drawing board with these interiors… do you need Kelly Wearstler’s number?
(Renderings, Orbital Assembly; via CNN)