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17 Aug, 2011 12:42

Secret Space Hotel plans unearthed

A veil of secrecy has been pulled away to lay bare plans for a space hotel 350 km above Earth to serve wealthy private travelers. The Commercial Space Station is expected to welcome its first guests in 2016.

The company Russian Orbital Technologies announced plans to launch a space hotel almost a year ago, in September 2010 – and now the price-list for the trip has finally been disclosed.A voyage “to the moon and back” will not be exactly a budget vacation – a five-day stay at the hotel is expected to cost about US$ 160,000. The whole trip, including a two-day transfer to the CSS on the Soyuz space ship will strip your wallet of about US$ 800,000, Dailymail.co.uk reports.

However, the service on board is said to worth every cent.The space hotel is expected to be far more comfortable than the International Space Station which is used by astronauts and cosmonauts, and it will offer an enhanced view of the Earth through larger portholes.According to the chief executive of Orbital Technologies Sergey Kostenko, the planned module will bear no resemblance to the International Space Station.The four-room space hotel will comfortably host up to seven travelers.

In the weightlessness of space, visitors will be offered the luxury of choosing between vertical and horizontal beds. The humble ISS astronauts, by contrast, had only horizontal berths at their disposal.The showers will look similar to those in any standard home, while the crew of the ISS had to make do with sponge baths for the duration of their stay in space. Toilets will use flowing air instead of water to move waste through the system.

The cosmic tourists will be treated to meals prepared on Earth and specially delivered to the rocket to be reheated in microwaves. Delicacies such as braised veal cheek with wild mushrooms, white bean puree, potato soup and plum compote are to replace freeze-dried tubes of food.Iced tea, mineral water and fruit juices will be available, but alcohol will be strictly prohibited. Experienced crew will be on-hand to see to the tourists’ needs. The hotel will be aimed at wealthy individuals and people working for private companies who want to do research in space.