2 years, 9 months ago
At 8.18pm on July 20th 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. The entire world was awake to watch, clustered round fuzzy black & white images on TV screens, eating cocktail ‘nibbles’ and Chicken Supreme from the Hostess Trolley – ah, those were the days. History was being made and you could see it from the comfort of your leatherette sofa while snacking on cheese cubes. It was ‘mind-blowing, man’, as they used to say, without a hint of irony. Fast forward almost 50 years and we can send messages in seconds, anonymously harass each other on social media, gawp at 30-year old tech billionaires and witness the real-time evolution of Kim Kardashian’s face from human to large egg, with features. Who’d have thought we’d have come so far, from that ‘one small step for man’.
But we have and, in less than three years, HouseTrip are inviting you to take an even bigger ‘leap for mankind’. 2019’s the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk and it’s the first year HouseTrip are hosting properties on the hallowed surface of the moon itself. Well, not quite on the surface, but pretty close.
Wolf Star II was the original Satellite Super-Skylab constructed by NASA in 1972 and launched in 1973. It was designed officially to monitor earth’s atmosphere from space. But, unofficially, did a nice line in Cold War surveillance – probably why you didn’t even know it existed. Operations ended in 2000 and Wolf Star II was put up for auction, bought privately in 2010 and is now in the final stages of restoration for residential use.
If it’s difficult to imagine how one lunar holidaymaker could fit into a satellite, never mind a merry band of adventurers, the hint is in ‘Super-Skylab’; satellite only refers to location. In reality, Wolf Star II is the size of a 12 storey apartment block linked by transparent walkways to ten, orbiting, 2 storey pods. Basically an entire complex, floating in the vastness of space with the moon’s surface just a few metres away.
But it’s not all flying around. Nano-molecular endo-technology has created a near perfect simulation of earth inside Wolf Star II. So walking, skipping, jumping and sitting are subject to gravity, same as on terra firma.
Kitchens are cantina style; designed to cook real food and counteract the effects of microgravity on taste and smell. So foodies needn’t fear foil packed space-snacks – they went out with Apollo Soyuz anyway. For the sharing generation, inviting rest-pods have been fitted with screens and devices to let you chat to the folks back home or just watch movies, play games and surf space. And when your body clock tells you it’s time to sleep; hush-cocoons have cosy beds for nesters and a zero-gravity option for free-spirits – the only place in your apartment where zero-gravity can be independently activated.
Missing green grass, fresh air, trees, daylight? Wolf Star II was the first Super-Skylab to develop ‘Conservas’ to prevent early astronauts going stir-crazy on long missions. These small parks and gardens, orbiting the main structure and reached by flexible walkways, have been restored for 2019. Guests can choose Conserva options, from sunsets and seaside to mountain tops, forests and leafy glades and each ‘earthly environment’ is enhanced with DigiSensEffect sounds, smells and visuals. Great fun or essential grounding? It’s green-space in real space, astonishing, no question.
Then, of course, there’s the biggest big-ticket attraction of all time; the moon itself? You can visit the surface as often as you want for a brief walk, thanks to five-minute shuttle services from Wolf Star II. All suits and apparatus are NASA developed, designed and approved and individually assigned to guests on arrival. Health checks are carried out before and after any lunar ‘outings’. And if you aren’t quite ready to take the ultimate ‘step’, you can simply enjoy the view from the shuttle instead.
Sounds incredible? It is and we’re very excited to be the first in the world to offer you the moon. Really, the moon. Wolf Star II is in completion stage, all construction is finished and testing is due to end in summer 2016. Which leaves a mere 1095 sleeps until Wolf Star II is ready to play HouseTrip host to the first intrepid explorers.
The secret’s out now and advanced booking for the initial three Wolf Star II holiday apartments is set to open this autumn. So you’ve got a little time to stare up at the sky and think about staring down at earth instead. And, if you still need convincing, here’s what space could look like from a completely different point of view very soon.