On April 12, 1961 Yuri Garigan was the first man to ever go to outer space. He orbited around the Earth for a total of 89 minutes.
Humanity--and private investment in the space industry--has come quite a long way since then. Many brilliant minds from all over the world have set amazing feats in space travel over the years, and billionaire money has been pouring into the sector.
We’ve sent countless satellites into orbit around the planet. We’ve traveled to the moon. We’ve sent the Voyager 1 space probe into interstellar space, making it the first manmade object to leave the solar system.
Now, the space industry is set to triple to $1.4 trillion in a decade.
Yet, it feels like just the beginning ...
By 2027, we’ll have our first hotel orbiting Earth. It’ll be called the Voyager Station, and is being designed by the Orbital Assembly Corporation, a subsidiary of The Gateway Foundation, so named because its creators are confident that humans will one day colonize the solar system, and eventually go interstellar. They believe that the work that they are doing now will be the gateway to that future dream becoming reality.
When finished, it will have 24 different modules, each outfitted in a way to accommodate people comfortably. Not only are they going to be offering a hotel, but they plan to offer extended stay luxury villas and rent modules out to different governments for research purposes. They expect there to be roughly 500 people at any given time.
Upon launch, they’re saying they want to have 100 guests per week. You can even make a reservation to stay there right now on their website. They’ll offer a gym and activity module along with a restaurant and bar.
The station is made of concentric rings, and can mimic different gravity levels depending on where you are on the station. At the outer ring they can mimic Mars’ gravity (38% of Earth’s gravity), and in the inner ring the moon’s gravity (16% of Earth’s gravity).
Research is perhaps the most important aspect of this ambitious project. Specifically, the station will be used as an alternative to microgravity (Zero-G) stations. Long-term exposure to microgravity is devastating to human health, especially bone health. The Voyager Station will be a rotating space station that can change gravity based on a rotating gravity ring at its center. The Gateway Foundation is hoping that the success of this project will encourage space agencies like NASA to incorporate their concept.
If this project is successful, the Gateway Foundation is hopeful that they could get a similar station set up on the moon. The goal is to have these stations all over the solar system for humans to more easily travel between planets.
It may seem like a pipe dream, but with our trajectory of technological advancements it’s bound to be a reality.
Over time, it has become cheaper and cheaper to send things into space, although it is still expensive. Today, it costs $10,000 to put a pound of payload in Earth’s orbit. But with this industry raking in billions--and soon trillions--of private dollars in investment, advancements are happening so fast that reality seems to change at breakneck speed. For the travel industry, this is the holy grail, and 2027 could be the year that the real adventure begins.