Space tourism looks to be a fast growing industry. Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and the International Space Station are not the only ones pushing for commercial space travel.
The Gateway Foundation has recently announced their game plan for the Von Braun Station space hotel. The hope is to have the hotel established within the next five years, and for it to be completely functional for travellers by 2027.
Another space hotel concept is being developed by Orion Span, a startup based in the United States. They hope to have the Aurora Station running in the next two years.
A digital concept released by the Gateway Foundation shows that the station will look similar to a rotating wheel made up of two dozen modules.
How the station’s gravity would work
The senior design architect at the Gateway Foundation, Tim Alatorre, says that the station would generate its own simulation of gravity.
As the station orbits Earth, it will rotate, “pushing the contents of the station out to the perimeter of the station, much in the way that you can spin a bucket of water – the water pushes out into the bucket and stays in place,” explains Alatorre.
In the middle of the station, there isn’t any artificial gravity, yet towards the outer regions, the simulation of gravity gets stronger.
The hotel design is named after the aerospace engineer who led the way in rocket development, Wernher von Braun. This came with some criticism, as von Braun played a role in the rocket development program for the Nazis. Later on though, he was involved with the Apollo space missions in the U.S.
The name was selected by the Gateway Foundation members, as the station is founded on elements that von Braun drew up roughly 60 years ago.
“The basic physics of the station haven’t changed since the 1950s, the way the station rotates,” said Alatorre.
The distinguishing factors are the updated materials such as current metal alloys, carbon composites, three dimensional printing, and launch pad tech which can provide an actual operational space hotel to match our modern age.
The idea is that the Von Braun hotel will be on par with the cost of “a trip on a cruise or a trip to Disneyland.” The current aim is to accommodate 352 people, and hold a maximum capacity of 450.