Until American companies start launching private spaceships, Russian-built space capsules will be the only way to get astronauts up to the International Space Station or other orbital outposts. If these images are accurate at all, Russian-built spacecraft might as well stay the only option. Doesn't this look cozy?
Think Robert Bigelow's much anticipated, sometimes ridiculed idea to build an orbiting space hotel from inflatable, habitable modules is something of a pipe dream? NASA apparently doesn't think the technology is bunk.
Anyone with a cool $4 million and change might consider doing what 43 other people have done, and sign up for an orbital space vacation in 2012 with Galactic Suite Space Resort. The Barcelona-based company plans to open the first space hotel if all goes according to plan.
Future space hotel moguls can get nervous when NASA's next-generation spaceship plans begin to founder. So one company has come up with a modified "Lite" design of the planned Orion vehicle to carry astronauts and paying passengers into orbit.
By Gregory MonePosted 08.13.2007 at 4:32 pm 1 Comment
Start saving now. A new player in the space hotel market has announced that it's planning to welcome guests in 2012. The price? A three-night stay will run $4 million.
To get its orbital hotel rooms into place, The Galactic Suite Project, as it's called, will launch each one independently. Tourist trips will start with an extended training program set on a tropical island. Then a rocket-powered ship will carry four passengers and two pilots into orbit, where they'll rendezvous with the hotel. While it's unclear whether the company's technology is on track for that 2012 deadline, the group certainly has its sales pitch down. My favorite line: "Imagine being in a weightless spa while watching 15 sunsets a day." Uh, no, sorry, can't do that. Guess I'll have to scrounge up that $4 million to see what it's like.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 07.20.2007 at 12:42 pm 8 Comments
Traditional spacesuits are bulky, heavy, unwieldy and, let's be honest, they just dont look all that cool. Now MIT aeronautics researcher Dava Newman and her team are developing the Biosuit, next-generation exploration garb that will enable astronauts to be more mobile, flexible and even runway-ready. The suit, which we first reported on here, will be skin-tight, but still easy to move around in. In contrast, suited-up astronauts expend about 70% of their energy just trying to bend their heavily-encased arms and legs. While Newman is primarily focused on designing the suit for missions to the Moon and Mars, and enabling astronauts to freely explore the surface without wearing themselves out, the sleek, swank design also looks perfect for space hotel nightlife.—Gregory Mone
By Patrick Di JustoPosted 05.20.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
As Ansari X Prize champs Burt Rutan and Paul Allen and their band of multimillionaire brothers—Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and hotelier Robert Bigelow—close in on developing the launch vehicles and orbital habitats that will open space travel to the well-heeled tourist, one big question remains: What are you going to do up there?