Is the phrase ‘round the world cruise’ about to take on a whole new meaning? Apparently so, if the ambitious claims made by aerospace company Gateway Foundation are to be believed, who are hoping to open the world’s first commercial space hotel by 2025.
The planned private space station, which resembles a giant, revolving bicycle wheel, will permanently orbit the Earth, and – according to the company’s website – will be able to accommodate 100 tourists per week upon opening.
Guests who make the giant leap to interstellar accommodation, can expect to stay in luxury apartment pods fitted with the latest modcons, with access to attractions you’d find on a conventional cruise ship, including cocktail bars, restaurants, cinemas and gyms. The Von Braun Station, as the station is titled, will spin while in orbit, creating an artificial gravitational field that the company is hoping will negate a lot of the difficulties caused by weightlessness in space (such as showering, or using the bathroom).
Speaking to online design magazine Dezeen, Tim Alatorre, Chief Von Braun CG Design Engineer, said: "The goal of the Gateway Foundation is to have the Von Braun operational by 2025 with 100 tourists visiting the station per week." Mr Alatorre also spoke about the Gateway Foundation’s aim to make space travel accessible to the masses. "Because the overall costs are still so high most people assume that space tourism will only be available to the super rich, and while I think this will be true for the next several years, we have a goal of making space travel open to everyone." he said.
"Eventually, going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation, just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World." Mr Alatorre added. But before you start counting your coffers to ensure a cabin on the station, there have been questions raised about the logistics of the project and its ambitious launch date.
However, the company remain committed to their vision, viewing the Von Braun Station as the first step in mankind's journey to colonise, and seemingly commodify, space, with the company planning to build further stations (including a hotel that can accommodate up to 3000 people per month), before colonising Mars and mining the asteroid belt for raw materials.