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Russia Plans to Launch Space Hotel

Mankind has long been fascinated with the mysteries of the universe. In the mid to late 20th century rapidly advancing technology allowed man to begin exploring this fascinating unknown entity and the so-called 'space race' between the two super powers of the time – the USSR and the United States – developed in a quest for supremacy of the skies. In 1990, during the NASA Voyager 1 space mission, a photograph was taken of the earth from a distance of around six billion kilometers away. This photograph came to be known as the "Pale Blue Dot" with earth appearing as a small speck within the vastness of space. Technology has come a long way since then, and while until now space travel has been reserved for astronauts and a few very wealthy civilians, a Russian company is set to change that with their ambitious plan to build a space hotel. Adventurers who can afford the hefty price tag of around US$1 million will have the opportunity of seeing our unique planet from a seldom seen viewpoint of around 350 kilometers from earth, where the view reveals that the Pale Blue Dot is truly a priceless gem.

The space hotel, which will be built by Russian company Orbital Technologies, will have four cabins to accommodate a maximum of seven guests. The two-day trip from earth to the hotel aboard a Soyuz rocket promises to be an adventure in itself. Once there, guests will most likely spend most of their time gazing through the portholes at the ever changing scenery as the hotel orbits the earth. Chief executive of Orbital Technologies, Sergei Kostenko, noted that the space hotel's accommodation will not be as basic as it is in the International Space Station, but will be fitted out to ensure maximum comfort for guests. Pre-packed foods will be reheated in microwaves, but no alcohol will be served. Guests will have the choice of horizontal or vertical beds, and ablution facilities will include toilets flushed by air instead of water, with sealed showers to ensure that water remains within the shower cubicle.

While the cost of the project has not been disclosed, Kostenko made it clear that this is a commercial endeavor and expressed his confidence that there will be sufficient demand to turn a profit. Orbital Technologies is aiming to have the hotel in operation by 2016, so if traveling in space appeals to you, you may want to start saving now.


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