Space construction company Orbital Assembly Corporation recently unveiled new details about its ambitious project of building a hotel above Earth's atmosphere. Gateway Foundation first came up with the concept in 2012 and the Californian company later established OAC to realise its dream of building the first commercial hotel in space. The company is planning to start building the hotel, Voyager Station, in the low Earth orbit in 2025 that could be operational as early as 2027, reported the Daily Mail.
The space hotel will be different from the International Space Station (ISS) since the giant wheel with 24 modules, connected by elevator shafts, will rotate to generate artificial gravity of a level found on the Moon's surface. It will also have 44 emergency return vehicles (ERVs) with automated flight controls for autonomous landing, according to the construction company.
With over 11,600 square metres of habitable space, the commercial station will have many features expected in a cruise ship, including luxury villas, hotel suites, gym, restaurant and bar. "Simulated gravity will offer amenities like toilet facilities, showers, and beds that function similar to what you are used to on Earth," the company's website says.
Explaining the design, OAC said in a series of tweets that the Voyager Station will be assembled in orbit before spin-up using automation and telerobotics. The docking hub at the centre, where the Operation and Control Center (OCC) will be located, is expected to function as a stand-alone zero gravity station. The first OCC will be in place from the beginning that will allow the crew members to live on station to operate the pods and drones.
The planned orbit and elevation for Voyager Station is 97 degree and 500-550 kilometres from Earth surface in a sun-synchronous orbit. This means the space hotel will be synchronised to always be in the same 'fixed' position relative to the Sun, helping reduce thermal stress and allow for almost continuous solar power generation. According to OAC, orbit degradation and space debris risk will also be nominal.