Space architecture firm Orbital Assembly has announced that its space hotel under construction will open to tourists as early as 2025.
It is reported that the space hotel, called Pioneer Station, is shaped like a “rotating wheel” orbiting the earth.
If the space station is completed as scheduled, it will become the first habitable platform in space to provide artificial gravity, bringing unprecedented experience to human research, tourism and other activities, marking a fundamental change in the ecology of the existing low-Earth orbit space station.
Tim Alatore, chief operating officer of Orbital Assembly, said: “The Pioneer Station is designed like a rotating bucket, the station rotates and pushes objects to the periphery, just like the water in the bucket stays in place as it rotates.”
It is understood that the space station can provide up to 0.57 times the gravity of the earth (the multiple of Mars’ gravity is about 0.38), there will be no artificial gravity near the center of the space station, and the sense of gravity will increase when moving down.
The interior design of Pioneer Station is similar to that of a luxury hotel, and its structure, according to the company’s official website, can have up to 8 living modules connected by elevator shafts. The number of docking ports ranges from 4 to 16. Each module has a volume of about 375 cubic meters and can accommodate about 7 people. That is, according to the highest configuration, the Pioneer Station can accommodate up to 56 people. It is understood that the 2025 version of the Pioneer Station may allow 28 people to live.
It’s worth mentioning that the Pioneer Station isn’t the only project OrbitalAssembly is building in space. The company is also building another tourist space station with a capacity of up to 440 people, Voyager Station, which is expected to open for the first time in 2027 or the end of this decade.
Alatore said: “The Pioneer Station can be realized faster because of its smaller scale. This also gives us the opportunity to build a larger-scale space experience station.”
It is understood that the modules and access pipes of the Traveler Station have More than 11,600m2 of habitable space, which will be built in Earth orbit with the help of automation and remote robotics, will be the largest man-made structure in space when completed.
The station has dozens of residential modules including restaurants, activity centers, villas, research institutes, etc. People can carry out a series of activities such as work, entertainment, scientific research and so on.
Video monitors on the walls of the modules allow for real-time views of Earth and space.
The “cross” in the ring is an elevator, which provides guests with transportation channels from modules such as residence and activities to the zero-gravity docking center, and can also easily transport industrial materials from ships to each module. The zero-gravity docking center is the docking hub at the center of the circle, which is the docking point of ships in the earth and other regions.
Concept map of local details of traveler station
The Voyager Station also comes with 44 emergency return vehicles with automatic flight controls to provide people with emergency assistance. At present, the specific specifications of the station are set as an outer diameter of 200 meters and a mass of 2,418 tons.
It is understood that the original design of the rotating space station is for commercial and national space agencies to conduct low-gravity research. At the same time, it also provides tourists with low-gravity and luxury hotel-like services in space.
Artificial gravity is essential for people to live long-term lives in space. The simulated gravity of Voyager Station is about 1/6 of that of the Earth, and it can even generate different degrees of artificial gravity by increasing or decreasing its own rotation speed.
Regarding the specific construction process of the Voyager Station, it is reported that it first built an unpressurized annular structure – a docking hub with docking arms and stabilizers that can capture and lock visiting spacecraft to unload passengers and cargo.
People and things will move freely through pressurized tunnel tubes (elevators) connecting the inner ring docking hub and the outer ring trusses.
Then the structure to be built is the outer ring truss. “The trusses will be the backbone of the station and provide installation support for habitable modules, solar panels, radiators and transport systems,” said Orbital Assembly.
At the bottom of the outer ring truss are various pressurized modules called living rings. Modules will be available in a variety of configurations, involving gyms, kitchens, restaurants, bars, crew quarters, private modules for living or conducting business activities, and government-specific modules for scientific research, training and stage facilities.
Through the construction of Traveler Station and Pioneer Station, it can be seen that the goal of Orbital Assembly is not only to build a hotel in space for people to travel and use, but to build a business park that can become a place for people to work and study. Facilities can also be rented out.
In recent years, space tourism has made some progress, driven by commercial companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. But the price is still relatively expensive, even as high as tens of millions of dollars. This is far from affordable, and I wonder how economically viable Orbital Assembly’s space hotel will be 3 years from now.
The company also mentioned that with the continued prosperity of space tourism, the price issue will be further resolved.
In the end, after all, waking up in the comfort of a hotel room with a spectacular view of the solar system, or the future of human travel.