Space tourism has come a long way since 1967 when Barron Hilton, then president of Hilton Hotels, arrived prepared at the 13th conference of the American Astronautical Society with charts and renderings for a Hilton on the moon. The topic of the conference was “Outer Space Tourism,” and it was there that the son of hotel mogul Conrad Hilton shared his vision for the first space hotels, dubbed Orbiter Hiltons, as something like “Hilton Inns, for short trips to space,” accommodating space tourists in lower Earth orbit until they hopped onto flights to the Moon and other planets.
Barron’s hopes to build a hotel on the moon struck a chord with people all over the globe. Throughout later years, the space fever appeared again and again, kicking off the Space Age – a period of fervid hope for what was to come. Clearly, Barron’s desire has yet to transpire, but the idea has never fully gone away. In 1990s, Hilton International sponsored a privately funded plan to build a private orbiting space station whilst in a separate plan, British architect Peter Inston was commissioned to work on a lunar hotel. As the unlikely-sounding plan was shown off, the then president of Hilton, Peter George, said: “One day soon, there will be hotels on the Moon. The Hilton wants to be the first.”
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