Hilton to design astronaut suites, facilities for Voyager’s private space station Starlab

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  • Hotel giant Hilton has signed a contract to design astronaut accommodations for the Starlab private space station currently being developed by Voyager Space Holdings and Lockheed Martin.
  • In addition to designing hotel rooms and sleeping accommodations, Hilton will also work with Voyager to explore space station marketing opportunities and the experience of astronauts on board.
  • This partnership is the first of its kind among developing private stations, although both the space and hospitality sectors have long foreseen the possibilities of a hotel in orbit.

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PARIS. Hospitality giant Hilton has signed a contract to design astronaut accommodations for the Starlab private space station currently being developed by Voyager Space Holdings and Lockheed Martin, CNBC reported on Monday.

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In addition to designing hotel rooms and sleeping accommodations, Hilton will also work with Voyager to explore space station marketing opportunities and the experience of astronauts on board.

Voyager Chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor, speaking with CNBC at the 2022 International Astronautical Congress, said he was excited about the “unique perspective” that Hilton brings to the project because “they’re not astronauts.”

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“It’s almost like looking at it with fresh eyes and saying, ‘How do we rethink this experience?'” Taylor said, adding that he sees “a bit of an advantage” in it. This partnership is the first of its kind among developing private stations, although both the space and hospitality sectors have long foreseen the possibilities of a hotel in orbit.

“For decades, discoveries in space have positively impacted life on Earth, and now Hilton will have the opportunity to use this unique environment to improve the guest experience wherever people travel,” said Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta.

Voyager and its operating company Nanoracks are developing the Starlab free space station in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. The companies plan to launch the first Starlab in low Earth orbit as early as 2027.

The space station is one of four being built by US companies with NASA contracts as the agency prepares to decommission the International Space Station (ISS) in 2030. As part of the NASA Commercial LEO Destinations program, Nanoracks received the largest individual contract in the program. , worth $160 million, to help build Starlab.

Taylor said the partnership with Hilton was the result of a relationship that began with “space cookies” in early 2020, when astronauts on the ISS baked DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies as the first food-baking experiment in space.

Taylor said Voyager sees big market opportunities for Starlab in science and research services, as well as human spaceflight.

Voyager expects to begin production of the first Starlab module in the third quarter of 2023. Taylor said the team has “about a year to bend the metal”.

The first Starlab will be as flexible as possible – its design will allow three modules to be connected together. The company’s longer-term goal is to expand into “a handful of purpose-built Starlabs” for a variety of market needs, Taylor said.

The company currently has a portfolio of nine space infrastructure and technology businesses. Voyager is planning an initial public offering in the next year or so.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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