Voyager Station, The Interiors Of The First Luxury Space Station
In 2027 the chance of space travel will not be a dream only achievable by astronauts.
On February 28th 2020, the NASA has signed an agreement with Axiom Space, the world’s leading privately owned space exploration company (based in the USA), to create, for the first time in history, a space base for commercial and tourism purposes, the Voyager Station. The agreement with NASA is necessary to dock and interact with the ISS (International Space Station).
According to Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom Space, the Voyager Station project, which will take shape between 2025 and 2027, will be a real luxury resort in space. The realization of the space station would have very large practical implications, it would give rise to the first form of tourism outside Earth and birth to companies whose commercial and operative profile is located above the Earth’s orbit.
Voyager Station's General Architecture and Design
The Voyager Station, whose design is entrusted to the famous designer Philippe Starck, will have a circular design: a mechanical organ very similar to a panoramic wheel.
The external architecture of the luxury resort will be composed of two concentric rings. The inner ring will be the landing place for passengers, as, for its central position, it is the most stable area of the station.
Thereby, through special corridors, the passengers will be carried by rail transportation system into the outer ring, which contains the housing modules, the scientific research modules and the commercial and entertaining modules.
The space base will rotate on both its own axis and around the Earth’s orbit, at 300 to 1000 kilometers of altitude. The diameter of the device will be around 200 meters, even larger than that of the ISS.
On board of the station, an artificial gravity management system will reproduce the Earth's gravity.
For as concern energy availability, much of the energy used to run the station will be generated by renewable green energy sources, mainly solar energy captured by arrays of solar panels positioned above the structure of the station.
The station will have more than 11.600 square meters of living space and will consist of 24 modules in total.
There will be the gymnasium and assembly modules, the bars and restaurants modules, the housing modules (containing private properties) and the modules dedicated to commercial activities (such as hotels, stores, cinemas, etc.).
The villas (private properties contained within the habitable modules) can be rented by everyone (though at high prices) for a week, a month or also for longer periods.
For all those who are tired of living on Earth, there will be the chance to buy properties.
On board of the station, there will be common areas where people can relate with each other or go jogging. There will be bars, restaurants, SPAs, discos, cinemas and also a concert hall to host the Earth’s most famous artists. There will be facilities dedicated to sport activities, such as, to name one, a basketball field where you can jump much higher than you can do on Earth (through gravity management).
Exploring the Interiors...
The task of guaranteeing the highest level of luxury to this first ever space hotel, is, as said, entrusted to Philippe Starck, renowned international architect.
The designer and his studio have a very intense pace work, just think that in a year they develop an average of around 200 projects, for a total of more than 10.000 projects in 50 years of activity. Among his most important works at international level, there are: the private apartment of the President of the French Republic in the Elisée Palace in 1982, the Groninger Museum in 1993 and the ENSAD (Paris’s Decorative Arts School) in 1998.
The renderings published so far of the Voyager Station show an interior design similar to that of interiors of spaces reproduced in science fiction movies set in space, movies such as 2001, A Space Odyssey, Star Wars or The Martian.
The choice, by the designer, of a futuristic, innovative and extremely modern design is clear.
The futuristic style is typically characterized by the use of furniture with curvilinear and geometric shapes, minimalist style and never classical or overly glitzy, the basic colors used are white, gray, silver and black, sometimes followed by lime, blue, yellow and red.
As can be inferred from the renderings published, the rooms's ceilings are often not very high (in order to optimize the space available, allowing for multiple floors to be built in a single ring) and sloping on the windows side. Either living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens are conceived as open spaces of large size.
The windows are round or oval in shape and remind the linear, geometric shapes of the furniture.
The walls will be covered by aluminum or derived alloys to act as a shield for the sun's rays, which are excessively strong outside the Earth's atmosphere. Internally, the walls will be heavily padded to keep inside the heat generated by the strong heating systems.
In Starck's mind, as by him reported, at the conceptual level, the space station is conceived as a "Comfortable Egg", as to recall the fetal universe from which we all come (clear is the reference to 2001, A Space Odyssey, by S. Kubrick). Undoubtedly the intent is to make the traveler, who embarks on the Voyager Station, feel at home, even though being hundreds of miles away from mother Earth.
Among the major innovations in terms of interior design within the station is the management of lighting, which is modulated in such a way as to recreate an ultra-modern environment, design oriented and science-fiction.
Lighting Management on Board of the Station
The management of lighting (either artificial and natural light) in the space base has, as mentioned, been shaped by the vision of movie directors such as Kubrick and J.J. Abram, who brought movies such as 2001, A Space Odyssey and Star Wars to the big screen.
Artificial white, defined by Starck as cold and dazzling, is the star of Voyager Station's corridors and common rooms. Nano LEDs used to illuminate the rooms help recreating the futuristic, ultra-modern environment, reminiscent of the aforementioned science fiction movies and sought by the designer Starck and his team.
There is no widespread use of floor lamps or ceiling lamps, but to illuminate the areas we find mostly LED strips and spotlights. All lights are modular and dimmable, the lighting, when not white colored, might be of very scenic colors such as blue or purple.
Some Technical Information on the Space Base
The Voyager Station's floor area will be approximately 11,600 square feet, the estimated mass will be of nearly 2,418 tons and the volume of 51,104 cubic feet.
The space station will be divided into 24 modules (a module is an area of the station aimed at a specific unique function) in total, each of them will have a diameter of (approximately) 12 meters and a length of 20 meters.
The whole base will accommodate between 316 and 440 passengers in total, of these 112 will be part of the crew, and the others will be travel guests who take part to the space trip (at a high price...).
Rent or Buy your Private Property on the Space Station, the Villas
On board of the Voyager Station, the housing properties are called villas. The space tourist can choose to rent or buy an entire villa, or just a room inside a villa split into more rentable rooms.
The villas will be of different sizes and can accommodate just a couple or a larger group of people (there will be individual two-room apartments or larger apartments). The villas can be personalized, according to the preferences of the guest who will live there. Hence, the guest can choose one among the available interior personalizations, according to personal preferences.
The rooms can be standard rooms, between 30 and 60 square meters, or suites of 120 square meters.
Beside the villas, within the housing modules, there will also be hotel facilities, managed by two of the largest luxury hotel chains on Earth, the Hilton and the Marriott.
Other Relevant Information, Entertaining Features and Tickets Booking
According to John Blincow, founder of the Gateway Foundation (managing the first spaceport in history), the Voyager Station project is not that far.
Thanks to the effort spent on the project by the remarkable ecosystem around it (Axiom Space, NASA, SpaceX and many other private multi millionaire companies), by 2027 the station might be completed and could probably be inaugurated.
We are all wondering how much a ticket to join this unique experience may cost. The price of the ticket has not yet been publicly set, but it might be (according to rumors) around 250,000 dollars. In addition to the stay, the ticket price will also cover a "preparation for the trip" course of 3 months, to allow each guest to be ready to live the experience in a good, relaxed, safe and complete way.
The transportation to the space station will be guaranteed by SpaceX, a private space travel company owned by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Just like on Earth, there will certainly be no shortage of entertainment on board of the space station. There will be, as said, cinemas and theaters, pubs to relax with a drink and discos to dance and know other guests.
Passengers will also have the chance to taste special foods, such as freeze-dried ice creams, but also fresh food that will arrive weekly directly from Earth.
It is already possible to book a spot on the station through the website voyagerstation.com
Always on the website there will be the chance for anyone to participate financially in the project, even investing a symbolic amount, with no minimum investment limit (the minimum investment, in fact, starts at 0.25 dollars).
In conclusion, we may say that what, up to now, has just been present only in the popular imagination of the human population, in a few years may become reality, even though, initially, only for a selected pool of passengers (those who can afford the price of the ticket).