It’s perhaps a sooner possibility that we could travel to space for leisure than around the world as we did prior to the pandemic.
The Houston-based Axiom Space is working towards launching the first-ever commercial space station in just three years time. The US $2 billion project is being overseen by Axiom Space co-founder Michael Suffredini, NASA’s former International Space Station (ISS) manager.
Working in tandem with a team of experts and astronauts, the company is planning for the space station, called ‘AxStation’ to serve as a research platform for government space agencies and commercial companies. But there are also plans for the station to include an out-of-this-world hotel, positioned some 400km above the Earth’s surface.
It’s said that French industrial architect Philippe Starck has agreed to design the guest rooms for these intergalactic tourists, which will feature “nest-like comfort” and jaw-dropping views of Earth, according to The Times. Wired also says the design will include “plush padded walls, panoramic windows, and color-changing LEDs”.
In an interview with The Times, Suffredini said: “Axiom was founded with the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human everywhere. We often hear that that is a very bold statement. It is.”
According to Robb Report, the plan is for Axiom to attach a crew module to the space station by 2024 (this will operate as the hotel), then expand to create a minimum of two additional modules, that will house a laboratory and manufacturing facility and a panoramic observatory. All of this is planned for completion in 2028.
There’s no telling yet exactly how much a stay onboard the space hotel would cost. But when you consider that a flight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo is estimated to cost US $250,000, while the cost for an astronaut to enjoy a 10-day stay on the ISS is rumoured to cost more than US $55 million, one could surely expect to pay a hefty fare.