When we think of space travel today, what comes to mind would probably be the International Space Station (ISS), with all their astronauts and cosmonauts. Although there has long been talk of space tourism, where the non-scientist can visit space for fun, Russian company Orbital Technologies is taking it a step further with its plans to create hotel, known as the Commercial Space Station (CSS) come 2016.
The CSS is planned to orbit at about 350km off the surface of the Earth. It would hous seven guests at a time, with four cabins that have huge windows so that the travellers are able to see the Earth turning below. Now that’s an unforgettable view.
Not only is the hotel impressive, getting there is a whole other adventure, with a two day trip aboard a Soyuz rocket. The experience does not come cheap either, as a five-day stay will cost you £100,000 ($165,000), on top of the flight cost of £500,000 ($825,000). You would have to dig deep into your pockets, for a trip to this hotel.
According to the firm, the hotel is going to be ‘far more comfortable’ than that of the ISS. Guests can have proper showers, unlike the sponge baths of the ISS and they will be able to enjoy proper cooked food sent up on the rocket, unlike the freeze-dried tubes of nourishment given to astronauts. Iced tea, mineral water and fruit juices will be available, but alcohol is strictly prohibited. I guess you can’t have that drunk party in space after all.
The hotel is said to be aimed at wealthy individuals and those working for private companies who want to do research in space. Interestingly enough, there is also plans for the hotel to be used as an emergency escape for astronauts on the International Space Station in case of a crisis, instead of bringing them back to Earth.
I’ve always found space travel to be fascinating, but unfortunately, it’s still not affordable enough for the layman just yet. Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford that trip to the sky, but for now, I think I’ll just spend my vacations with both feet on the ground.