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Inside Hilton-designed space hotel with luxury suites on orbiting Starlab station

HILTON hotels has announced that it will design the astronaut suites for the space station poised to replace the ageing ISS.

The U.S. hospitality giant will help draw up plans for Starlab, a private station under development by space exploration firm Voyager.

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Starlab (artist impression) is set to replace the International Space StationCredit: Voyager

In addition to designing hospitality suites, Hilton will design communal spaces and sleeping arrangements for the astronauts.

The hotel chain said it wants to “reimagine the human experience in space, making extended stays more comfortable.”

Voyager Space CEO and chair Dylan Taylor said 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,” he said.

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Voyager, and its operating company Nanoracks, were awarded $160 million in Nasa funding in 2021 for the Starlab space station.

It’s set to replace the International Space Station, an orbiting laboratory that has circled Earth for over two decades.

The creaking station is beginning to show signs of wear and tear and Nasa has said it will decommission and deorbit the outpost by 2031.

That gives Voyager and partner Lockheed Martin just a few years to begin the construction of its replacement.

Skylab will have capacity for up to four astronauts and will house a state-of-the-art laboratory system and “science park.”

Like the ISS, it will be used to carry out vital research in zero-gravity conditions.

Nasa uses space experiments to test materials and equipment for use back on Earth as well as on future missions to the Moon and Mars.

Voyager and Lockheed aim to have the first Starlab operational in low-Earth orbit as early as 2027.

“For decades, discoveries in space have been positively impacting life on Earth,” Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta said.

“Now Hilton will have an opportunity to use this unique environment to improve the guest experience wherever people travel.”

The partnership marks the first of its kind among the private stations in development.

However, both the space and hospitality sectors have long dreamed of the possibilities of a hotel in orbit.

Starlab is one of four being built by U.S. companies with help from Nasa contracts.

This is not the first time that Hilton has ventured to space.

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In 2019, it became the first hotel company to participate in research aboard the ISS.

The chain provided a chocolate chip cookie that became the first food baked in space in an experimental oven.

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