Cesar Orellana

Staff reporter

June 3, 2021

Space houses? Space restaurants? Space gas stations?  Anything can be possible now that a small company is building the very first space hotel. The company Orbital Assembly is seeking to build the very first space hotel, which would include over 11, 600 square meters of habitable space, artificial gravity replicating the Earth’s gravity, a stunning view of the Earth, and everything that makes a hotel luxurious. They call their space hotel the Voyager Station. Orbital Assembly’s revolutionary idea might be what it takes to influence other companies to do something similar, like housing, restaurants, business, etc. Who knows, maybe this could be the stepping stone that leads people to living in space.

According to orbitalassembly.com, “The Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC) was formed with the singular purpose of accelerating the formation of a robust and self-sustaining space construction industry. OAC’s founders come from a variety of backgrounds in business, finance, law, aerospace, engineering, architecture, construction, design, simulations, and aviation. These skills have allowed for a comprehensive approach to our methods, processes, designs, and strategies.”

Although they’re not the first company to build stuff in space, the idea of a space hotel is very ambitious. No private company has ever constructed a space station let alone ten times bigger than the ISS (International Space Station). But, if they are able to pull it off, it is possible that other companies like SpaceX could launch similar projects. A space station bigger than the ISS has many benefits, but it also comes with downfalls. 

The advantage of having another, more advanced space station is that it gives scientists more information about the solar system, galaxy, and universe, and what humanity can do with it. According to futureofworking.com, “When we take on the effort to start exploring space, then we can discover new truths about our planet and culture simultaneously.”  

The ISS launched back on November 20, 1998, making it 22 years old. The ISS was revolutionary and a huge step for humanity at the time, but now the ISS is considered somewhat primitive and old. 

The Voyager won’t necessarily be a typical space station like the ISS, as it would be mostly for people who want to experience space without being an astronaut. It will have the technology of the future age, like artificial gravity, unlike the ISS.

The disadvantages of building the Voyager Station are the cost and the possibility of astronauts being exposed to dangers in space. The cost of launching things into space is very high, and space stations are a risky commitment. According to futureofworking.com, “The cost of exploring space is one of the biggest criticisms of the efforts to launch a program that takes us beyond our planets. When the space shuttle program was active in the United States, the total cost of the launch was about $500 million. That figure does not include the expenses of postponement that often occurred because the conditions were not right to send a rocket into space.” 

Also, astronauts experience dangerous things in space, like the lack of gravity affecting their body. In addition, so much of space is unknown, and dangers that astronauts could not prepare for could present themselves when they attempt to go deeper into space. As stated in futureofworking.com, “The natural dangers that are present outside of our planet’s atmosphere could become problematic in a variety of ways. The radiation that comes from the sun is a constant danger to astronauts when they are in space, and the weightless environment can change their physical conditioning.”

The Voyager Station will also face the challenge of being the first massive space station to carry civilians and function as a hotel. Currently, Orbital Assembly is a small company. Professionals work on the project, and people invest in their efforts. 

“I do think this is the job of a company since a government would probably be too inefficient to create a space hotel cost-effectively,” said Tyler O. A freshman at Athtolton high interested in the idea of a space hotel.

The company does have the potential of pulling this off; look at SpaceX. Space X used to be a small company, but then grew to be one the biggest private space companies in the world. Orbital Assembly is in the same situation as SpaceX, but where SpaceX started with a small project, Orbital Assembly is starting off with something big. Many find this approach odd.

“The company has not built anything in space yet and wants to skip all the way to a monster hotel, over 100 times larger than the ISS by habitable volume,” Tyler O said.

 The company should start off small before making something of this scale, maybe making a basic space station like the International Space Station, would be a good start for this company.  

There is no estimated cost for building the Voyager Station, as of right now, but it could possibly be billions of dollars. According to multiple sources, five million dollars is the current cost for three days in space, which some think is reasonable for a space trip. “If I had a lot of money and wanted an experience of a lifetime, then yeah,” Donald Mitchell, American Government teacher at Atholton High, said in a recent interview. 

Sure the price won’t suit everyone, but the price needs to be high, especially if it’s the first hotel in space. This could also be another factor of having more companies do this sort of thing. Companies would rack up a lot of money, start developing cheaper options for more people to buy reservations, and also have other companies to create other stations that work as other things. 

 Orbital Assembly has the potential to create a new era where there are space restaurants, gas stations, space domes with houses in them, and more. Only time will tell, but with enough care and attention, the Voyager Station could achieve something thought only possible in science fiction.

Posted by Cesar Orellana

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