Space Hotel and Space Food

• 3 mins read
Share link on Facebook
Share link on LinkedIn
Share link via Email
Copy link

Accommodation and food are key elements in space travel. Orbital Assembly, a company that specializes in designing and constructing space stations, is planning to open luxury accommodations in space. It plans to launch two space stations with tourist accommodation. The first is the Voyager Station, which is expected to be opened in 2027 and is targeting to accommodate 400 guests and provide super-luxe amenities. Another one is Pioneer Station, which is smaller scale and expected to accommodate 28 guests, will be ready in 2025. Its key purpose will be to serve as a blended commercial, tourism facility, and research. Because of the presence of gravity on the station, space tourists will be able to participate in regular activities as on earth, like eating, drinking, showering, and sleeping without having to worry about spills or floating. They also will be able to enjoy fun space activities, including viewing the Earth from the orbit, walking in space, engaging in low-gravity sports etc.

Accommodation is one of the key elements in space travel.

In the past, most space food was like camping food: freeze-dried for being easy and safe to store, prepare and eat in space environment. It had specific requirements of providing balanced nutrition for astronauts working in space and very limited choices were available for them to choose. Note that space food actually plays a critical role in comforting astronauts (e.g., a reminder of home) and improving their mental wellbeing in space missions. Therefore, nowadays, astronauts have a wide menu of items to choose from, such as fruit salad, juices, pizza, cake etc. For example, the Shenzhou-14 taikonauts were provided mooncakes by the ground team to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (mooncake festival) for the first time ever in space last year.  Because of the piece of mooncake in space, they felt full of love and were motivated to complete their missions.

What about space tourists? Space activities and food are essential in space travelling experience and can shape tourists’ journey and define their memories. Therefore, in the study titled An Exploratory Study on Consumer Preference for Space Travel, Space Hotel Services and Space Food, we also invited respondents to list out their top five most preferred space hotel services and the top five most preferred space food.

Among the top five most preferred space hotel services, both American and Chinese respondents mentioned “Food service,” “Swimming pool,” and “Spa/Massage.” Note that American respondents reported “Space tours” as one of their top five most preferred space hotel services, whereas Chinese respondents did not. Chinese respondents reported “Cinema” as one of their most preferred services.

Interestingly, results showed that the top one most preferred space food for American were “pizza,” whereas Chinese respondents reported “hot pot” but not “rice” or “noodle”. Among the top five, both American and Chinese respondents liked “steak” and “burgers”.

These findings provide insights for what services and foods should companies provide to Chinese and American tourists once reach orbit. For example, both American and Chinese respondents mentioned that they wanted to have zero-gravity indoor activities like swimming and spa/massage at space hotel. Therefore, artificial-gravity pools and spa/massage room would be basic facilities for a space hotel to build. Steak and burgers are also favourite food items for both cultures and should be “must menu items” for space hotel. Interestingly, hotpot is the most preferred menu item for Chinese tourists. It is a dish whereby a heat source placed on the dining table keeps a pot of soup stock simmering, and a variety of ingredients are served beside the pot for the diners to put into the hot stock. It would be great for a luxury space hotel to provide hotpot to shape Chinese tourists’ memories.

To find out more about a specific topic, click on the links below to navigate to the relevant chapter:

INTRODUCTION – Space Tourism Isn’t Science Fiction Anymore

PART I – Consumer Reactions to Space Travel across Cultures

PART II – Space Hotel and Space Food

PART III – Space Travel Opportunity for Public?

CONCLUSION – Future Direction for Space Travel