Branson sees ‘sexy space hotels’ orbiting Earth & offering trips around Moon

Richard Branson © Lucy Nicholson
Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson dreams of owning hotels in orbit where space travelers will chill out in pods in between trips around the Moon.

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“I would love to have really sexy Virgin hotels in space, where people can go and stay in pods, and head off in little spaceships around the Moon when they wake up in the morning, and they come back to their pod in the evening,” Branson told Mashable on Monday.

Space travel and accommodation doesn’t come cheap. Virgin’s planned rate for space flights will set you back $250,000 for a two-and-a-half-hour flight and six minutes of weightlessness.

Stephen Hawking already has a ticket to take a flight on Virgin’s Galactic spaceship once it’s ready to safely transport passengers, only he is the only person lucky enough to have been gifted with a free pass.

The Virgin boss envisions humans will have colonized “somewhere like Mars,” in the next 100 years, going by what Hawking has said about the need to colonize other planets in case of a catastrophe on Earth.

A test flight on Virgin’s first spaceship in 2014 ended in disaster after it exploded, killing one of the pilots onboard.

While Branson wants to use Virgin Galactic to take people to Mars in the future, the billionaire is more concerned about helping people on Earth first, by “putting this big array of satellites around the Earth to try to connect the five billion people who do not have internet or WiFi access.”