The Gateway Foundation, a startup in Alta Loma, California, is planning what may be the most ambitious space hotel project.
Called the Von Braun Rotating Space Station, it will be a sort of space-based cruise ship holding a pair of hotels that would accommodate 100 guests and three times as many crew members. It is planned to have restaurants, gyms, sports arenas and concert venues and, not al least, artificial gravity. The creators of the project considered at the same time an emergency system based on space planes. The foundation aims to assemble the facility in orbit by 2025 and open it to visitors in 2027 or soon after. The idea about a such construction was previously made public by another scientist.
As one of the chief architects of NASA’s Apollo program, Wernher von Braun imagined a wheel-shaped space station in the 1950s. Now, Tim Alatorre, the senior design architect of this project says: “In a few years we’re all going to be just thinking of space as a normal vacation option. (...) It’s definitely not science fiction.” “We’re still a ways away from actually being able to build these hotels and operate them in orbit,” says Glenn Lightsey, a professor of space technology at the Georgia Tech College of Engineering in Atlanta. The Gateway Foundation hasn’t said what a stay at the Von Braun Station would cost. But for comparison, he first group of space tourists , seven people who went up from 2001 to 2009, paid Russia more than $20 million apiece to fly to and spend time aboard the ISS.