Will orbital commercial hotels come into existence sooner than planned?
The first ever space hotel will be launched in 2012, say architects – and will cost £2.7million for a three-night stay.
The eye-watering price will include an eight-week training course on a tropical island, before launching to The Galactic Suite Space Resort.
During their stay, guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes. They would wear velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.
Critic have questioned the investment and time frame for the multi-billion pound project, but the Barcelona-based architects insist hey are on target for a grand opening in three years time.
The companies CEO, Xavier Claramunt, a former aerospace engineer, said the infant industry had a huge future ahead of it, and predicted space travel will become very common in the future.
‘It’s very normal to think that your children, possibly within 15 years, could spend a weekend in space,’ he said.
A nascent space tourism industry is beginning to take shape with construction underway in New Mexico of Spaceport America, the world’s first facility built specifically for space-bound commercial customers and fee-paying passengers.
British tycoon Richard Branson’s space tours firm, Virgin Galactic, will use the facility to propel tourists into suborbital space at a cost of £120,000 a ride.
Galactic Suite Ltd, set up in 2007, hopes to start its project with a single pod in orbit 280 miles above Earth, travelling at 18,640mph, with the capacity to hold four guests and two astronaut-pilots.
CEO, Xavier Claramunt, insists his luxury resort will be ready to receive guests by 2012
It will take a day and a half to reach the pod – which Claramunt compared to a mountain retreat, with no staff to greet the traveller.
‘When the passengers arrive in the rocket, they will join it for three days, rocket and capsule. With this we create in the tourist a confidence that he hasn’t been abandoned.
‘After three days the passenger returns to the transport rocket and returns to Earth,’ he said.
More than 200 people have expressed an interest in travelling to the space hotel and at least 43 people have already reserved.
The numbers are similar for Virgin Galactic with 300 people already paid or signed up for the trip but unlike Branson, Galactic Suite say they will use Russian rockets to transport their guests into space from a spaceport to be built on an island in the Caribbean.
But critics have questioned the project, saying the time frame is unreasonable and also where the money is coming from to finance the project.
Claramunt said an anonymous billionaire space enthusiast has granted £1.8billion to finance the project.
I wonder who the billionaire philantropist is?