The Space Hotel: Will It Launch?

The idea's still in orbit for the world's first orbital resort.

By , Contributor

A cross section of the "hotel room"

No matter how deep of a recession the world has been in, the hotel industry has not ceased to amaze us with its rapid expansion and innovation, staying the course and plowing forward with a childlike obliviousness to the world’s woes.

We remain teased with the seductive allure of these seemingly unattainable stays whether they be at an underwater hotel in Fiji, the world’s highest hotel in Hong Kong, or one’s own private, self-contained full service island in Dubai, all the while knowing they’re quite unrealistic for most of us but enchanting nonetheless. Well, here’s another one to add to your travel bucket list… ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you the world’s first hotel in space.

The Russian firm Orbital Technologies recently revealed its plans for an orbiting hotel room, complete with its own space shuttle craft designed to transport guests to and from this mystical place in the sky.

Though the price tag is expected to be otherworldly, experts caution prospective guests to temper their expectations for luxury. Rooms will be comfortable, however cuisine will be limited to space food and due to weightlessness in the stratosphere, restrooms will be swapped for vacuum toilets and showers replaced by self-cleansing cloths.

Space tourism, or the concept at any rate, has been gaining ground fast and furiously since the launch of Virgin Galactic in 2006 by Sir Richard Branson. Over the years, Virgin Galactic has rolled out its Global Accredited Space Agent program, certifying now 75 travel advisors in 12 countries around the world on the concept and authorizing them to take 10% deposits on the US $200,000 tickets for these proposed suborbital space flights departing from New Mexico. The concept has sparked worldwide interest and intrigue. However up until now, the prospect of space in this vein has been limited to a ride. A hotel stay is altogether revolutionary.

Though most space experts are already putting the proverbial kibosh on the program, claiming that Russian space programs have neither the proper funding nor a skilled enough workforce to complete such a task, the teams remain confident the new spacecraft design will be ready and operating by 2015.

If the prospect of traveling to space doesn’t quite shock you, the price tag certainly will. Your bill for a five-day stay in orbit, hovering 217 miles above Earth? A cool US $1 million. But we’re pretty darn sure the views will be priceless.

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A child of parents both heavily involved in the travel industry, Gabriella Ribeiro Truman was born to do her job. By day she owns and operates Trumarketing, a boutique sales, marketing and PR firm servicing tourism-related clients from around the world. Also a frequent blogger, she produces The Explorateur…

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