Guests on Commercial Space Station Will Stay in Suites Designed by Hilton

They're going to need to velcro the mints to the pillows on board the future Starlab.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Space station with solar panels extending out above the curve of Earth.
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Space station with solar panels extending out above the curve of Earth.

This render shows what the Starlab space station might look like.


Currently, a stay on a space station is a cramped affair, with astronauts strapped into cocoons to keep them from floating about while they snooze. Hilton, known for its high-end hotels, is hoping to fancy things up a bit when the Starlab commercial space station gets going.

Starlab is a joint project from space company Nanoracks, its majority shareholder Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin. Hilton has signed on to design crew lodging and hospitality suites to make "extended stays more comfortable."

Details are slim after the Tuesday announcement, but Hilton and Voyager Space dropped phrases like "guest experience" and "warmth of hospitality." It leaves a lot to the imagination. Will it have a pillow menu? A complimentary continental breakfast?

International Space Station shines in glamour shots from SpaceX Crew Dragon

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Starlab is expected to host space tourists as well as serious science work in a state-of-the-art laboratory. It's meant to step in to provide a low-Earth orbit facility as the International Space Station reaches the end of its life. Starlab could be operational by 2027.

The Hilton partnership shows Voyager Space's commitment to the space tourism part of the equation. Even better, those space visitors might get some fresh-baked treats. Doubletree by Hilton sponsored a successful cookie-making experiment on the ISS. When asked what space smells like, Starlab guests might answer, "Chocolate chip cookies."