The first hotel in orbit above the Earth is set to open in just over six years, according to the ambitious plans of the company anticipating the world’s first space tourists.
The Gateway Foundation unveiled its designs for a rotating space station that will produce differing levels of artificial gravity and will accommodate up to 100 tourists a week when it opens in 2025, according to news reports.
Named the Von Braun Station after rocket technology pioneer Wernher von Braun, Gateway said on its website that it's working with national space agencies to research low gravity while assembling the station and also providing "space tourists who want to experience life on a large space station with the comfort of low gravity and the feel of a nice hotel."
Using technology for the construction of the International Space Station, the Von Braun station will consist of two concentric structural rings connected together by spokes that will support a so-called Habitation Ring of large, pressurized modules, Gateway officials said.
The foundation said the station will include an array of modules, including an air water power module, a gym module, a kitchen, restaurant and bar module. There will also be a crew quarters; privately owned modules for villas, hotels and commercial uses and government-owned modules for research and training.
Initial activities for tourists might include low-gravity basketball, low-gravity rock climbing and trampolining, Von Braun Station design architect Tim Alatorre said, according to ABC News, which sited the architecture and design magazine Dezeen.
Alatorre predicted travel to the station would compare with a cruise or a Disney World vacation with activities like concerts, movies and seminars.
Others are getting in on the race to commercialize space, including NASA, which announced this summer it expected to open the International Space Station to tourists by 2020.