Space tourism is proposed to open to the public – but how realistic is it?

As plans for space resorts unfold, many hope to experience space tourism just as Dennis Tito (left) became the first to do in 2001.

NASA via Wikipedia

As plans for space resorts unfold, many hope to experience space tourism just as Dennis Tito (left) became the first to do in 2001.

Lauren Anderson, Copy Editor

A new getaway destination is soon to be on the map, but this resort is unlike any other. The new hotel, called The Pioneer, is in outer space. 

The Orbital Assembly, who proposed The Pioneer, announced yet another space station plan to accommodate guests. This other station, deemed The Voyager, is described as a “space business park with gravity.” The Pioneer could orbit as early as 2025, while the Voyager would supposedly orbit as soon as 2027. 

The Pioneer station can hold up to 28 people and contains both office space and hotel space. “The goal has always been to make it possible for large numbers of people to live, work and thrive in space,” Orbital Assembly’s CEO Tim Alattore stated. While the small capacity of the hotel is certainly a limiting factor, its implications as a space hotel are much bigger than its size. 

“It’s a place no one has ever been before. It would be exciting to see if it’s a realistic place for people to visit,” senior Emily Hoskins said. “But it seems a little unrealistic because it’s not easy to just take people to space, but it would be cool if this became a real thing.” 

The Orbital Assembly has faced criticism over its choice to spend money on something as seemingly random as a space hotel when there are a variety of crises on Earth requiring financial help. 

“The thing is, there’s always going to be something going on and someone is always going to say that the money could go to something better than a space hotel,” said Augustana engineering and physics major Olivia Wacaser. “But it does seem pretty unnecessary. I don’t think space travel is ever going to be accessible or a safe option for people.” 

Wacaser also feels space travel will never be sustainable. “I mean it’s cool, but it would be so ridiculously expensive and rockets already cause enough pollution. Shooting random people into space just because they want to go is stupid to me.” 

Despite mixed reviews, the Orbital Assembly’s plans for the Voyager are even more grand. 

The Voyager would “accommodate 280 guests and 112 crew members, complete with a restaurant, a bar, a concert hall, a gym and even a cinema.” The proposed project would most likely resemble a luxury hotel on Earth – just with significantly different views – as designers do not want the hotel to feel sterile or bland. 

Both stations are in the shape of a wheel, allowing artificial gravity to replicate more Earth-like conditions. Smithsonian Magazine wrote, “Facilities on both the Pioneer and Voyager stations will have hybrid microgravity and variable gravity levels up to .57-G… Tourists may still feel some weightlessness but will also be able to drink out of a cup and won’t have to be strapped to a bed to sleep.” 

While both the possibility and sustainability of space travel have been in question for years, it seems as though space tourism is finally becoming a reality. Whether space tourism becomes accessible is a completely different question, but as of 2025, a new side to exploration will open the doors to those both willing and able to journey to space.