Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Space Hotel - Commercial Space Station - Space Travel

If you’re looking to get away from it all, but are bored with all that Earth has to offer, perhaps you’d be interested in spending an intimate vacation 217 miles above Earth in an Orbital Technologies Commercial Space Station. That’s right, folks: It’s a space hotel.
While certainly not the first to propose an orbiting hotel, Orbital Technologies does plan on offering some amenities that even International Space Station residents have to do without. According to the Daily Mail, the comercial stations will feature water showers and pre-pared meals from chefs on Earth and reheated in microwaves aboard the stations. On the ISS, they have to make do with sponge baths and freeze-dried meals.  Though alcohol will be prohibited, ice tea, fruit juice, and mineral water will be available. Onboard the stations, residents can also look forward to recycled water and air, and even an air-powered toilet. Sounds invigorating!
While Orbital Technologies has their eye on tourists, they also expect to have private researchers staying aboard their craft. Of course, it won’t be cheap. Orbital Technologies says that five days aboard one of their commercial stations would run you about $165,000. Of course, you’ll have to throw in an additional $823,000 for the cost of transportation (read: rocket) on top of that. That’s certainly steep, but it’s a far cry from the $20 million the first space tourists paid
An interesting note about the images released by Orbital Technologies are the other spacecraft involved. Orbital Technologies is based in Russia, and has already stated their intention to partner with the Russian space agency for use of their Soyuz spacecraft and rockets to get customers into space. While most of the images show the hotel docked with Soyuz craft, others feature a spaceship that looks remarkably like a Dragon or possibly Orion ship. The message is clear: Orbital Technologies platforms are open to everyone. Moreover, it seems like they’re trying to position themselves as part of the commercial space travel revolution.
Personally, I find it quite remarkable that just a few years ago, this would be dismissed as yet another crack-pot idea. Akin perhaps to any number of companies trying to bring a jet pack or flying car to the market. However, the success of SpaceX and others have shown that private companies can do space travel, and do it well. As impressive as a space hotel may be, what’s more impressive is that we’re in an age when it actually seems feasible. Of course, we’ll have to wait until 2016 when Orbital Technologies plans to open their first station to see if they can actually pull it off.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive