Book now for a stay in 2027
In July, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson made history when both successfully completed space flights with their companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, respectively. And next week, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch its first civilian orbital mission.
While these have been making headlines, a lesser known space development has also been in the works that will give space-curious travelers the ability to spend the night in space instead of a quick day trip.
Beginning in 2027, travelers will be able to stay at the first space hotel — the Voyager Station. The 280-guest hotel will be the shape of a Ferris wheel, and will spin to mimic gravity. But while the views will be like no other hotel in the universe, the accommodations will be familiar. The hotel will have modern, spacious rooms and will include a gourmet restaurant, gym, entertainment center, and bar. So what was once science fiction, is now only several years away.
But how much does a space vacation cost?
Well, like most travel, it depends on who you want to fly with and the experience you want. A short flight, like those done this summer, will cost between $250,000 and $500,000. When it opens, a room at the Voyager Station will cost $5 million for a three and a half day stay. And for those who want a longer stay, a 10-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS) with SpaceX will cost $55 million.
Although Alan Shepherd whacked a golf ball on the moon in 1971–50 years ago — I am unaware of any plans for a golf resort in space, at least not yet.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that these trips are out of reach for most people. And because space travel will only be available to the wealthy — at least for the time being — there is concern that wealth disparities will continue to grow, particularly when it comes to environmental impact.
Currently, the 1% are already responsible for 175 times more greenhouse gas pollution than the average person in the bottom 10%. It is estimated that the carbon emissions per passenger mile for Branson’s trip were about 60 times that of a business class flight. However, as there have only been a few of these types of flights so far, it is hard to gauge what the real environmental impact will be.
There is no doubt that humanity’s explorations in space have helped shape science and technology — giving us solar power, GPS, and even internet access. We may soon see what it means to travel and leisure.
Danilo Diazgranados is an independent investor in the global food and wine, financial services, real estate, and the hospitality sectors.