If the idea of a hotel in space sounds enticing, you may not have to wait longer than five years. Above: Space Development (previously known as Orbital Assembly), a company that specializes in designing and constructing space stations, says it could have luxury accommodation in space within “60 months” of securing enough funding for the projects (the company says it would need to be upwards of $1 billion). With two space hotels in the works—Voyager Station and a more recently announced Pioneer Station—anyone’s next R&R could take place among the stars.
Voyager Station, Above’s first proposed space hotel, was originally designed to accommodate 280 guests, though new plans have updated that number to 400. Last year, the company shared designs for a smaller station called Pioneer Station, which would house significantly less people—only 28 at a time—but could be operational sooner than Voyager.
“We expect the duration to be as little as four days or as long as two weeks,” Rhonda Stevenson, Above CEO, tells AD of potential trips to the hotel. “It depends on cost and also the ability to acclimate to a space environment.” Price considerations aside, both Voyager Station and Pioneer Station are designed to minimize this second factor as much as possible.
To understand how the space stations work, consider a simple demonstration: water spinning in an upside bucket. If the force of a rotating bucket is greater than the force of gravity trying to pull the water out, the liquid in the container stays put. It might seem like magic, but it’s science.
The artificial gravity of both the Voyager and Pioneer stations works incredibly similar to this. “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,” Tim Alatorre, Above’s COO and architect, previously told CNN.