It looks like NASA is sprucing up the ISS for future space tourists by adding a habitable module that will turn it, at least partly, into a space hotel.
On January 27th, the space agency announced that Axiom Space would be providing them a module that will attach to the International Space Station’s Node 2 forward port in the latter half of 2024. The interior is by French designer Philippe Starck, that will provide accommodations that are both comfortable and luxurious. Crew cabins are private and cozy with, I would imagine, breathtaking views of Earth.
This fits into NASA’s plans for developing low-Earth orbit economy, that includes commercial destinations; making the station and crew resources available for commercial use; enable private astronaut missions to the station; stimulate long-term, sustainable demand for these services; and quantify NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.
I think this is an important first step to get private citizens to really get a feel for what it’s like to live in space. Of course, this will mainly be a space hotel for billionaires and the connected. However, it’s a great experiment that will lead to opening the door for the masses to someday live in space.
Check out NASA’s plans for low-Earth orbit economy.