No longer just a terrestrial hotel brand, Hilton will be designing the crew quarters aboard the forthcoming Starlab space station. Jenny Southan reports
Hilton has been announced as the official hotel partner of Starlab, Voyager Space’s forthcoming space station, which will be the first continuously crewed, free-flying commercial space station.
In 2021, Voyager and its operating company Nanoracks, were awarded US$160 million in NASA funding to build the Starlab space station, which is set to replace the International Space Station when it is decommissioned in 2031.
Starlab is planned to have the capacity to continuously host up to four astronauts and house the George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park, a state-of-the-art laboratory and the first-ever science park among the stars.
Voyager and Hilton will partner in the areas of architecture and design, leveraging Hilton’s word-class creative design and innovation experts, to develop Space Hospitality crew headquarters aboard Starlab, including communal areas, hospitality suites, and sleeping arrangements for the astronauts.Additionally, the teams will seek to explore opportunities together for “longer-term efforts” including the ground-to-space astronaut experience, global co-marketing and branding, and other tourism, educational and commercial efforts.
Voyager Space says that Hilton will “bring the company’s renowned hospitality expertise and experience to support the design and development of crew suites aboard Starlab, helping to reimagine the human experience in space, making extended stays more comfortable”.
This first-of-its-kind venture builds on Hilton’s presence in new and emerging markets, its storied history with space, and its global lodging and hospitality leadership, welcoming more than three billion guests across a portfolio of 18 brands comprising 7,000 properties in 122 countries and territories.
Apparently, the research and design work being dedicated to Starlab could also lead to advancements driving sustainability and greater design efficiencies for future hotel owners in space and on Earth.Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space, says: “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.
“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.”
Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, says: “Hilton has been innovating to improve the guest experience and pioneering new destinations for travel for more than a century. We are thrilled to partner with Voyager to bring that expertise to Starlab.
“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.
“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.”