That’s one small step for space tourism, one giant leap for Hilton.
On Tuesday, the hotel giant announced a partnership with Voyager Space that would task the hospitality company with designing crew accommodations aboard the commercial space station, Starlab. In addition to building astronaut suites, Hilton will also reimagine the station’s communal spaces to make extended stays in orbit more comfortable—or at least feel closer to what life is like here on Earth.
In 2021, Voyager Space was awarded $160 million in NASA funding to create Starlab by its parent company, NanoRacks. Once it’s complete, which could be as early as 2027, the station will be able to hold up to four astronauts at one time. In addition, there will also be a state-of-the-art laboratory known as the George Washington Carver Science Park.
“Starlab will be more than just a destination, it will be an experience made infinitely more unique and artful with the Hilton team’s infusion of innovation, expertise and global reach,” said Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space, in a press statement. “Voyager and Hilton are acutely focused on creating innovative solutions for the future of humanity and this partnership opens new doors to what is possible for comfort-focused space exploration and habitation.”
Although this is first venture of its kind for Hilton, the hospitality brand has taken its hospitality efforts to new heights before. In an attempt to make long-duration space travel more enjoyable, it participated in a 2020 experiment where astronauts used the first-ever zero-gravity oven to bake off their famous DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies. Although successful, the cooking time took roughly two hours.
“For decades, discoveries in space have been positively impacting life on Earth, and now Hilton will have an opportunity to use this unique environment to improve the guest experience wherever people travel,” Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, said in the statement. “This landmark collaboration underscores our deep commitment to spreading the light and warmth of hospitality and providing a friendly, reliable stay–whether on the ground or in outer space.”