There is a Russian company which this week has announced plans to have a space hotel up and running in the next six years, and despite the price-tag, there is no shortage of people wanting to book.
Just over ten years ago, April 28, 2001, Dennis Tito was the first man to be a tourist in space, eight days aboard the International Space Station, a jaunt which is thought to have cost him around a million dollars, though the price-tage has not put off several others since.
The demand for such tourist trips is growing, so Russian company Orbital Technologies announced the intention of having an orbiting space hotel, the first of its kind, in place by 2016,though it will not be very big.
The trip out to this new holiday destination will be two days long, in the cramped confines of a Soyuz capsule, costing, including the wildly expensive trip there and back, around £600,000, or $1million.
First nation to send humans into space, the Russians also came up with docking systems for connection of different vehicles, and initiated commercial space tourism a decade ago. Orbital Technologies director Sergei Kostenko revealed in Moscow, just this week, the ambitiousplans the company has.
First hotel module of the hotel is set to have an area of 20 cubic meters, with four chambers capable of accommodating seven guests at a time, and dubbed the Commercial Space Station. Guests to be ferried there by Soyuz carriers, while Progress rockets will transport food and other supplies.
Designed, the company claim, to be the height of space luxury, the miniature hotel will have all comforts and trimmings, guests able to observe the Earth below through large viewing windows, the entire project being financed by US and Russian investors, RSC Energia and Orbital Technologies.
Aside from tourist use, the hotel will be vailable for NASA astronauts to use , during the 2016 to 2020 de-orbiting of the International Space Station, as the only satellite in orbit then, available for astronauts and cosmonauts to live in and conduct their experiments on an ongoing basis, while the next Space Station is built. There is no doubt that only the extremely wealthy will be in any position to become space tourists, but demand, believe it or not, far outstrips supply, so the hotel will be booked up for years to come, though whether the experience is really worth that expense is debatable, to say the least.