The first commercial space hotel will be more like a cruise ship than Stanley Kubrick's sleek space station from 2001, says Tim Alatorre, senior design architect of the Von Braun Space Station.
The Gateway Foundation is designing the world's first space hotel – the Von Braun Space Station – with the aim of making visiting space accessible to everyone.
It will have gravity, full-working kitchens, bars, and interiors made with natural materials and colours.
"Eventually, going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation, just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World," Alatorre told Dezeen.
"The goal of the Gateway Foundation is to have the Von Braun operational by 2025 with 100 tourists visiting the station per week, he continued.
"Because the overall costs are still so high most people assume that space tourism will only be available to the super rich, and while I think this will be true for the next several years, the Gateway Foundation has a goal of making space travel open to everyone."
The Von Braun Space Station will build on technology used at the current International Space Station (ISS), however, unlike its predecessor the space hotel will have artificial gravity making both visiting and long-term habitation much more comfortable.
The design is based on concepts developed in the 1950s by Wernher von Braun – after whom the hotel is named.
The station will consist of a 190-metre-diameter wheel that will rotate to create a gravitational force similar to that felt on the moon. Around the wheel will be 24 individual modules fitted out with sleeping accommodation and other support functions.
"There will also be many of the things you see on cruise ships: restaurants, bars, musical concerts, movie screenings, and educational seminars," explained Alatorre.
Some modules will be sold as private residences, while others will be rented to governments for scientific purposes. In total the Gateway Foundation expect the population of the station to be around 400.
The Gateway Foundation want visits to the space hotel to be comfortable and intend to reject the sleek futurist interiors often seen in movies in favour of more familiar decor.
"In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick's Space Station 5 is a sterile, white, museum-like hotel," explained Alatorre.
"While it made for a clearly futuristic feeling in the movie, in reality, it wasn't a very inviting space. As humans, we innately connect to natural materials and colours."
The interiors will make use of natural materials to give visitors to the space hotel a comfortable, homely experience.
"Developments in material science now allow for lightweight, easily cleanable natural material substitutes for stone and wood that would normally not be feasible to bring into orbit," said Alatorre.
"The use of fabrics, warm-coloured lighting and paints, and materials with texture, all help us to connect and feel at home. Because the station will have gravity there will be sense of direction and orientation that isn't present in the ISS."


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