Published May 2018

Back in February 2017, Elon Musk promised to fly two private customers to the Moon by the end of 2018, and it seems unlikely this will be a one-off. SpaceX revealed the waiting line for private space travel is lengthening, despite the adventure costing thrill seekers millions of dollars. This appetite is reframing the business of space. Travel companies are starting to look at space travel as a serious commercial opportunity. At the recent Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California, Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger unveiled the idea of the first-ever luxury hotel in space, with an expected launch date of 2021. Imagine: zero-gravity walks, an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets a day and… looking at a planet Earth from above (all for ‘only’ £6.6m for a 12-day stay).

Source: Aurora Station: A Luxury Space Hotel in Pictures

So space travel is on the way, for some of us at least, but the question of how human-centred design principles will work in space remains unanswered. And because we believe that bold thinking and big questions about the future can help inform our current work, we decided to tackle Designing for Space as the first topic in our new BIO Bold event series.

Last Wednesday, we discussed this topic with a diverse panel of space experts. We joined Astronaut Training Programme Director Mindy Howard, Deep Space Psychologist Richard Sherry and Olesya Myakonkaya from Mars Nation, together with a host of service designers and transformation professionals to explore the key challenges of designing for space.