Russia May Be Opening The First Hotel In Space This Year
In 2011, a Russian private firm, Orbital Technologies, revealed plans for the first-ever hotel in outer space, set to launch five years later. Now, in 2016, scientists and space enthusiasts are on the edge of their seats for another announcement from the Russian firm to signal the historic launch of the hotel.
The hotel would orbit 217 miles above the Earth. According to Discovery News, a five day booking would cost around $165,430, not including the $827,500 round-trip rocket to the hotel itself. If you've got the penny, though, Orbital Technologies says that your stay can range from three days to six months. A whopping $5,955,480.
The catch? It's nothing like The Ritz. While $6 million could get you the royal treatment at just about any 5-star hotel in the book, the space hotel has limited amenities. "Guests can choose between horizontal and vertical beds in the zero-gravity environment," reported Discovery News, "and will dine on food prepared on Earth and sent up –a very high-tech take on room service. They’ll have internet access, but not too much else."
The hotel can accommodate a maximum of seven people, which simultaneously seems both like the guests' main source of entertainment, and their source of frustration. Other features include a lack of showers – wet wipes are provided instead, and a ban on alcohol and smoking.
On the bright side, according to a report on CNN, Sergey Kostenko, CEO of Orbital Technologies, "hopes that the station can be a stopover for manned circumlunar flights, so making day trips to the far side of the moon and back may be a day-trip option."
If that hasn't deterred you, keep in mind that you'll need to essentially quit your job for months before your stay. To check in, guests will have to undergo special training that can take up to three months.
Despite the hype around the initial press release in 2011, there isn't any recent news about the space hotel. Orbital Technologies has kept strangely silent on its online blog, and no news portals have reported on it since.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see if they'll follow through with the deadline. Then again, I guess the construction of a space hotel isn't something you'd want to rush.