In what will undoubtedly be the premise for a future action movie, plans are underway for a hotel in space that will allow people to luxuriate in orbit. And it could be coming far sooner than you might think.
According to Smithsonian, the futurists at Orbital Assembly Corporation are set to debut Pioneer, a space station hotel, as early as 2025. The 28-person station will have living quarters consisting of a bed, shower, and work area under artificial gravity, an as-yet-unrealized technological advancement that would make long-term stays more practical.
Guests could also experience hybrid and variable microgravity, with some of the effects of zero gravity—like watching a spoon float in the air—without going full Apollo.
Pioneer and a sister hotel, the larger Voyager, would both be ring-shaped, with gravity increasing the farther you move from the middle.
“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,” Orbital COO Tim Alatorre told CNN Travel in 2019.
Pioneer’s smaller footprint—Voyager, due in 2027, could host 400 people—could make it more practical to get it launched sooner. And while the timetable seems ambitious, Orbital believes it's feasible.
"We’ve been able to develop a safe, secure, and reliable modular station that will generate revenue and profitability from both the tourist and commercial sectors sooner than our competitors who are
adhering to NASA timetables,” Orbital CEO Rhonda Stevenson said in a statement. "Multiple revenue streams from commercial, research and tourism markets will enable us to subsidize the travel market for a one to two-week stay. While launch costs continue to be a barrier, we expect tourists will be motivated to plan shorter, or more frequent, stays as space travel becomes less expensive."
There’s no pricing structure for Pioneer yet, but you can bet it will be in the stratosphere. At least you’re guaranteed a great view.