What’s Next? A Space Hotel in 2016
My first question was: is there room service?Â Just last month, Russian commercial space company
To reach the ultimate nerd (or cult leader) destination, â€śHotel in the Heavens,â€ť one need only hand over $164,000 and their life for a ride on a Russian Soyuz rocket.Â Thatâ€™s right-a rocket!Â Call me old fashioned, but just as most people likely worried with the introduction of conventional forms of transportation, I worry a little about what might happen if we run into problems up there.Â Historic vessels such as The Titanic, the Hindenberg and the Challenger come to mind.Â Recent events, however, have grounded my apprehension.Â On August 24th of this year, a Russian Soyuz rocket, malfunctioned and came plummeting back down to earth.
Ah, but as the saying goes, worrying will get you nowhere.Â Â Survive the voyage into the great unknown, and for a mere $820,000, enjoy a five night stay in one of four rooms designed to hold seven guests.Â Â Youâ€™ve got to love Russiaâ€™s dark sense of humor.Â This trip seems perfect for the adventurer, or any Trekkie, but according to bigthink.com, Orbital Technologies has another customer in mind: an uber-rich Russian who thrives on being able to boast about his luxury travels to his elitist friend circle.Â â€śAh, well you enjoyed Dubai?Â I just had a splendid weekend in-space.Â You do have to go there.â€ť
In my opinion, however, the trip seems a bit bleak.Â I only think of three things when I imagine Russia: boiled potatoes, the color gray and vodka.Â It seems like Space Russia canâ€™t be much different, especially with the constraints of zero gravity against it.Â Guests have the privilege of choosing whether they want their sleeping bag to be strapped to the wall horizontally or vertically, and they are afforded the luxury of a shower, as opposed to the blue-collar sponge bath of a typical astronaut.Â Even better, guests are served (by whom, I donâ€™t know) a microwaved meal that was prepared on none other than planet Earth.Â I feel every traveler should take advantage of local cuisine.Â Unfortunately, Orbital Technolgies, thinks Hungry Man is fancier than space ice cream.
I hate to admit it for fear of sounding entitled, but I donâ€™t know if simply being in space is enough to keep me going for five days in a tiny, white capsule.Â Sure, the novelty will be something unimaginable, but after that first hour of staring down at earth, and a short break to go to the bathroom (where, and how?!?), what else can you do?Â My guess is lots of vodka, because there ainâ€™t no poolside cabana in space, folks.Â If I were part of the team, I might suggest a map of the cosmos, a telescope and an iPad with Angry Birds.Â Which reminds me, is there internet in space?Â I bet itâ€™s really fast up there, being nextdoor neighbors with a satellite.
But in all seriousness, who else occupies the â€śHotel in The Heavens?â€ťÂ Do you have a space maid to tape a space mint to your space pillow every morning before you go out to float 10 feet over to the next room?Â I imagine the Russian concierge is there.Â Heâ€™s waiting eagerly in his little, flat cap.Â Heâ€™s pale, weak and weird from months alone in space.Â Itâ€™s just you, him, and his well-prepared list of discussion topics.
Itâ€™s the space equivalent of a remote cabin in the woods, which is pretty terrifying.Â What if something goes wrong and a sprocket comes loose?Â All travelers will have to take courses in astronaut training and Iâ€™m assuming, will be accompanied by real astronauts.
Getting excited or freaked out?Â Well, to compare apples and spaceships, hereâ€™s a look at what a million dollars can get you here on Earth.Â Emirates Palace Resort in Abu Dhabi offers a 28 day vacation with some of most luxurious amenities imaginable.Â Travelers live it up in the Middle East with a 7 night stay in a 2,000 square foot suite, a chauffeured Maybach, daily spa treatments, day trips to Iran, the Dead Sea Jordan and Bahrain in a private jet to make an authentic Persian rug, be pampered at a spa and deep sea dive for pearls (which are then made into a custom piece of jewelry).Â Â Guests also make their own perfume, get more pearls (Robert Wangâ€™s rarest), play golf, and even get a selection of sporting guns from Holland and Holland.
With the Obama administrationâ€™s recent funding cuts for NASA, it looks like itâ€™s all up to Russia until some private company does it here.Â Until then, we have plenty of time to save up for the trip.