The age of space exploration being available to non-astronauts is fast approaching. It is approaching so quickly that the Russian space company, Orbital Technologies, is saying that they are developing a space hotel that is set to welcome guests by 2016. Clients will get be transported to the hotel aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, which will take about a day to reach the Commercial Space Station that is located 217 miles above Earth.
Once the rocket reaches the station, clients will be able to settle in with their exploration comrades, up to six other tourists and/or researchers, for an orbital adventure around the Earth. While traveling 17,500 miles per hour in Earth’s low orbit, the space hotel will provide all the amenities to its residents that are found in luxury hotels on the surface, amenities including: gourmet foods, a specially designed sealed shower, and high quality bedding for sleeping.
Orbital Technologies suggests that the best part of the journey is the opportunity for guests to gaze out of the station’s large portholes, which will offer them a full view of the cosmos and the Earth. To stay at the space hotel, potential guests will need to pay an estimated $1 million. The space exploration company did state that as the service becomes more popular and they turn a profit, they will begin to lower the prices and, possibly, make the hotel more realistically priced for the average tourist.
Observers have discussed the health and comfort concerns that could come with a voyage of this magnitude. They state that the welcomed guests on the space hotel, especially those who are set be onboard in 2016 before the technology is tested commercially, will discover that the 300 km journey will leave them tired and unable to relax. This is attributed to zero gravity leaving them in an uncontrollable spin. The same skeptics stated that a trick to overcome the zero gravity is to locate your center of mass, and push off objects that are along an imaginary line extending from your center of mass. This will stop the constant spinning and leave the space explorer with more control over their movements.
Skeptics have also stated that a good night’s sleep will be difficult to come by in zero gravity, citing that they will need to be tied down to limit headaches that can result from floating around constantly. However, Orbital Technologies has illustrated that all the guests in their space hotel will be trained to maximize their comfort while orbiting the Earth. The company advertises that during the journey, patrons will be able to see at least 16 sunrises and sunsets from a perspective very few people have ever witnessed before.
The space hotel is projected to be ready to welcome guests by 2016 and will be able to house seven guests. Once aboard, guests will be able to watch TV and go even log onto the internet if they desire. However, alcohol will not be served and it is prohibited from being brought on board. Orbital Technologies has not released information yet as to whether they have accepted reservations from potential clients, but they have stated that they are being contacted by many interested parties.
By Andres Loubriel