The Von Braun Space Station would be made of two rotating concentric rings that the Gateway Foundation claims would provide artificial gravity one-sixth as strong as Earth’s by 2025.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on September 5, 2019

Everyone’s searching for the next big business idea and a new business, a start up in today’s world, the Gateway Foundation has latched onto the idea of building a hotel in space.

With Sir Richard Branson‘s Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk‘s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, looking at space travel, it sounds like a potential money spinner.

Gateway Foundation want to call the hotel after famed rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, who imagined the concept in the 1950s. Von Braun worked under Nazi Germany in World War II before being secretly moved to the US as part of Operation Paperclip. Von Braun worked for the US Army on an intermediate-range ballistic missile program and developed the rockets that launched the US’ first space satellite Explorer 1. His division was assimilated in NASA, where he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Centre and was the chief architect of the Saturn V super heavy-lift launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. In 1967, von Braun was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and in 1975, he received the National Medal of Science.

The hotel, designed in a 190-metre-diameter wheel shape, will rotate to create a similar gravitational force to the one that is felt on the Moon. Photo: Gateway Foundation

The Von Braun Space Station would be made of two rotating concentric rings that the Gateway Foundation claims would provide artificial gravity one-sixth as strong as Earth’s by 2025.

The first commercial space hotel will be more like a cruise ship than Stanley Kubrick’s sleek space station from 2001, Tim Alatorre, senior design architect of the Von Braun Space Station, told Dezeen.

“Eventually, going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation, just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World,” Alatorre said.

“The goal of the Gateway Foundation is to have the Von Braun operational by 2025 with 100 tourists visiting the station per week. Because the overall costs are still so high most people assume that space tourism will only be available to the super rich, and while I think this will be true for the next several years, the Gateway Foundation has a goal of making space travel open to everyone.”

The Von Braun Space Station will have modules that will be sold as private residences. Others will be rented to governments for scientific purposes. In total the Gateway Foundation expects the population of the station to be around 400.

Gateway Foundation admit that initially only the very rich would be able to afford to stay at its space hotel. Photo: Gateway Foundation

After the Von Braun Space Station is built, the Gateway Foundation intends to build an even larger space station to accommodate the anticipated growing demand for space visitors.

“Looking beyond 2030, the Von Braun Station is a proof of concept for the Gateway Foundation’s next project which are a class of station called The Gateway, which will house over 1,400 people,” said Alatorre.

“These will be true cities in space that will be ports of call for those coming and going from the moon and Mars.”

Obviously to get to a space hotel you will need transport and Alatorre said the most likely vehicle to be operational in the near future is Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship.