The World's First Space Hotel May Be Closer Than You Think

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As the saying goes, most of us alive were born too late to explore the earth and too early to explore space. Man hasn't walked on the moon since 1972, and who knows if or when we'll reach Mars, but all hope is not lost.

Space tourism is a burgeoning industry that's well on its way to becoming reality. Though this industry has yet to fully lift off, there are several major players: Elon Musk's spaceX, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, just to name a few. But there's a new player in the game, the Gateway Foundation. The company has released its plans for the Von Braun Station, a cross between a cruise ship and a hotel that it hopes to put in orbit by 2025.

It will take a further two years for the floating hotel to be fully operational, meaning guests can start checking in as early as 2027.  If every sci-fi movie ever is to be trusted, all of these ventures will go smoothly and nothing bad will happen ever.

How Does It Work?

"The station rotates, 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," Tim Alatorre, Gateway's senior design architect, told CNN. "The basic physics of the station haven't changed since the 1950s, the way the station rotates."

Von Braun Station takes its name from Wernher von Braun, a leading figure in the realm of aerospace engineering who developed rocket technology in both his native Germany and the United States.

Form and Function

The Gateway Foundation

As for the aesthetic, imagine Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and then picture the opposite. Alatorre calls that classic film "a blueprint of what not to do" if you want people to actually feel comfortable onboard, which is especially important given that Von Braun Station is expected to have a maximum occupancy of 450.

It'll be some time before anyone can write a Yelp review of their time aboard VBS, but construction on the project begins October 1 — here on Earth, that is.

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