While the hotel never came to fruition, the push for the commercialization of space continues to live on.
A hotel on the Moon. It’s a concept that was once far-fetched, but with the advancements and commercialization of space exploration, now 50+ years later, is more of a potential reality.
Ideas, while “symbolic,” for Americans to kick back and relax or grab a drink at a hotel in space were around two years before astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were forever etched in history.
It all dates back to 1967 when, then president of Hilton Hotels, Barron Hilton, spoke to astronomers and space lovers at an American Astronomical Society meeting.
“Scarcely a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, jovially, when the Lunar Hilton is going to be opened. They’re joking, of course. But I don’t see it as a joke at all … I firmly believe that we are going to have Hiltons in outer space, perhaps even soon enough for me to officiate at the formal opening of the first,” Hilton said, according to archives.
At the event, Hilton shared his conceptual vision for a space hotel called the Orbiter Hilton or Lunar Hilton with large rooms, carpets, drapes, wall-to-wall TVs and plants. The food guests would have access to during their stay, according to Barron, would “be as good as those on Earth.”
“If you think we’re not going to have a cocktail lounge you don’t know Hilton — or travelers. Enter the Galaxy Lounge. Enjoy a martini and see the stars,” he added.
And while the plans were grand, they never came to be a reality in the more than 50 years since. Archivists refer to the space hotel talks as a mix of “honest speculation and playful humor.”
Fast forward to 2021 and space agencies and companies’ interest in a more permanent space on the Moon continues to grow.
In 2019, CNN reported The Gateway Foundation was working to construct the Von Braun Station with the goal of it being fully operational by 2027. NBC News added the spacecraft will be large enough to hold a pair of hotels and house 100 guests — along with possibly three times as many crew members.
Then there’s the upcoming Artemis mission looking to take the next man and first woman to the Moon since 1972. To do that, several elements and contracts still need to fall into place.
The Artemis program is inspired by NASA’s Apollo program and how it proved it was possible to land humans on the Moon and return them to Earth safely. In Greek mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo.
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