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Russia plans orbiting hotel in space

posted 23 Aug 2011, 08:33 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 23 Aug 2011, 08:40 ]
A Russian firm has set a target of five years to open a hotel in space for tourists looking for something other than a conventional holiday. Orbital Technologies says it will build a hotel and shuttle service to compete directly with a US venture attempting to develop its own service to space. Stuart McDill has more.

REUTERS / ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES PROMO HANDOUT - 
A Russian vision of the future of space tourism.


This is Orbital Technologies' concept for a space hotel they plan to open for tourists by 2016.

The company is a subsidiary of RKK Energia, who already operate commercial space flights and took the first space tourist, Denis Tito, to the International Space Station in 2001.


Tourists would start their voyage on a six-person shuttle which would then dock with the hotel, according to Orbital Technologies' CEO Sergei Kostenko.


SERGEI KOSTENKO, ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES SAYING:

"So the station you can see here in this model will be designed and built in such a way as to provide the most comfortable possible conditions for space tourists."


But comfort in space is a relative concept.

The company says the hotel will be more comfortable than the ISS but guests will still have to eat space food, take sponge baths and use vacuum toilets because of weightlessness.

They'll also have to pay dearly for the privilege.


ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES CEO SERGEI KOSTENKO, SAYING:

"We plan to enter the market with a price of 50-60 million Dollars which matches the price of a flight on the International Space Station. And after that, of course, our main task will be actively reducing the price."

The target price appears to be around one million dollars a day for a five day stay - still too much for most visitors to Moscow's Air Show no matter how keen.


UNAMED AIRSHOW VISITOR SAYING:

"If it became more accessible in price then we would definitely take the flight."

Commercial companies around the world all recognise the race to dominate the next generation of commercial tourist space travel, is well underway - and, despite a struggle for funding, Russia believes it's well-placed to grab a share of that market.


Stuart McDill, Reuters

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