After Sir Richard Branson made the dream of commercial space tours a reality through his Virgin Galactic firm, a Russian firm in a similar vein is planning to launch the world's first space hotel.
The Daily Mail reported that the hotel will orbit 217 miles above ground and is expected to open by 2016. The hotel, which is called the Commercial Space Station (CSS), will be placed within 62 miles of the International Space Station.
Passengers will head to the space hotel in a Russian Soyuz rocket. The CSS has a capacity to accommodate seven people in four cabins. The cabins will be fitted with huge windows which will give visitors a glimpse of the earth. Earthly comforts include a choice of beds placed in vertical or horizontal positions. Food prepared on earth will be carried to the hotel.
Orbitel Technologies chief executive Sergei Kostenko said that the CSS will not be like the ISS but will have the comforts of a hotel. At five-day 600,000 pounds stay - which includes the ferrying cost - is certainly targeted at rich customers.
The CEO of Orbital Technologies, Sergey Kostenko said: I am pleased to announce our intention to provide the global marketplace a commercially available orbital outpost. Once launched and operational, the CSS will provide a unique destination for commercial, state and private spaceflight exploration missions.
However the Russian plan is not the first of its kind as earlier a similar project under the name The Galactic Suite Space Resort was launched in 2009. The Barcelona-based architects of the hotel had in 2009 stated that they were on target to accept its first paying guests in 2012. A three-night stay at the hotel was priced at $ 4.4 million. The stay would allow the guests to view the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes. They would wear Velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman Reuters reported. Galactic Suite Ltd, hoped to start its project with a single pod in orbit 280 miles above the earth, traveling at 30,000 km per hour, with the capacity to hold four guests and two astronaut-pilots. It was supposed to use Russian rockets for transportation.
Virgin Galactic, a firm started by Richard Branson, started the commercial space travel trend with his plans to launch spaceships into space from carrier planes, taking two pilots and six passengers on a suborbital journey. The starting price for flights is $200,000 with refundable deposits starting from $20,000.