They’re building a hotel orbiting Earth

A hotel in space: the first commercial space station in history will be in orbit in 2024, and it will be the new home for humans in space.

The first civilian space mission in history has just ended with a great success, and already there's talk of taking space tourism to another level. The first words of the commander of SpaceX's Inspiration4 after returning to Earth were "we're just getting started" - nothing could be truer.

We are truly at the dawn of a new story, one of space travel for all. NASA has been paving the way for private space investors for some time now: Axiom Space's fascinating plan to build an entirely private space station is just the latest chapter in a story yet to be written.

The first commercial space station in history

NASA's approval to build Axiom Station dates back only to last year, yet the construction of the first entirely private space station is already proceeding apace.

Axiom Space, in all, is not yet another start-up created by former children with a passion for space travel: the private space company that will build the first hotel orbiting the Earth was founded by Michael T. Suffredini, former program manager of the International Space Station from 2005 to 2015 at NASA.

The Axiom Station, so it is called "humanity's new home in space," will be built starting right from the International Space Station: the first module to go into orbit will be docked to the ISS's Harmony module, the one that contains the astronaut life support systems and sleeping quarters.

The first module, the so-called Axiom Orbital Segment, will be joined by other elements as the old International Space Station undergoes decommissioning, initially scheduled for 2030 but likely to arrive a few years earlier. At that time, the ISS will permanently separate from the Axiom Segment.

"Once assembled," Axiom Space's website reads, the structure will "double the usable volume of the International Space Station" and then become a reality in its own right.

An orbiting hotel by design

The interior of the Axiom Orbital Segment was designed by designer Philippe Starck, and it's what science fiction fans have always dreamed of: a beautiful, comfortable, designer room in space - like the ones in the movies.

The launch of the first module of the Axiom Station to the Space Station is scheduled for 2024: the hatch of the ISS will then be officially open to private missions, essentially for tourism purposes.

The new home of humanity in the Cosmos, as they define it by Axiom Space, will be the first room "designed for humans to contemplate their place in the universe."

Design takes on a new centrality here: "the egg-shaped structure symbolizes the comfort of a nest, with a panoramic view of the planet that is our home" - so is presented the habitable module that will be the first hotel room orbiting the Earth.

Before the Starck-designed module, the first four "axonauts" in history will be launched into space: three civilians and a former NASA pilot, Axiom Space Vice President Michael López-Alegría, will leave Texas for the ISS next January, aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

This will be the first completely private crew to visit the International Space Station: the stay will last approximately eight days, and the axonauts will participate in the projects and experiments taking place on the Space Station. And now, unthinkable until only a few years ago, the season of space tourism can really be said to have begun.