Space hotels

    As some of you know, I love science, and I care about the environment. Sometimes, these two interests are in conflict, as in the case of space hotels. Alas, my romantic side wants the space hotels to win, and any time my environmental, logical side speaks up about how much fuel will be required for such ventures, my romantic side punches him in the face and steals his lunch money.

    So, with that disclosure aside, there's some interesting news on the world of space hotels. A Russian company (Orbital Technologies) is planning on having one in place by 2016, and is also offering to offer space tours to Mars by 2030. I find the former far more likely than the latter. Initially, the cost is expected to be $50-60 million, but then drop to only $1 million for a 5-day stay (is that 5 orbits or 120 hours?).

    For those who don't keep up with such things (what's wrong with you?), this isn't the first or even most promising entry into the space hotel competition. The Galatic Suite Space Resort has plans for a space hotel as early as next year, with costs at €3 million for a 3-night stay. My favorite is the early entry Bigelow Space Hotel, which will cost about $29 million for a 30-day stay. Wikipedia has a more complete list of these competing exotic destinations: Excalibur Almaz, Space Islands Project, and Space Island Project (yes it's different). I say "more complete", because it's definitely not complete. It leaves off the afore mentioned Orbital Technologies, as well as other older plans (which might now be defunct), with Japan and Germany each throwing their hats into the ring at one point.

    Regardless of who wins the race, I'm fairly confident that someone will, and there's a good chance that it'll happen within the next decade (if not next year). And yes, it will no doubt involve spewing vast amounts of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. At least, until we get our space elevator up and running.


    I wouldn't go even if I won the trip in a Gemini Croquette Contest and the Diva herself was playing, much less pay for it. I've learned this about myself over the years: I pretty much despise staying in high rise hotels with sealed windows on planet earth. If I am stuck with a downtown high rise, they gotta at least have windows that open or preferably a balcony, but  given my druthers I much prefer a cheap motel without goddamn valet parking where I can get in and out without having to tip anyone, or wait for an elevator, and where I can bring my own snacks and drinks. I don't see how they could possibly provide to my exacting preferences. It wouldn't be travel, it would be torture. The view out some window just wouldn't be worth it. How can you even tell it's real if you can't get outside? Different strokes for different folks, I guess. smiley

    You'd also better be willing to deal with zero-G toilets and other pleasantries. Of course, that points out at least one way that you can tell it's real. You can only fake zero-G for so long…

    The space elevator solves the gravity problem. In that system at any point below the geostationary orbit point there would still be a gravitational pull towards earth. Beyond that point centrifugal force would provide the equivalent of gravity. From there, garbage could be thrown out the window to fly off and become part of the asteroid belt, thus extending our pollution to the entire solar system. Cool.
     Interesting blog.

    Okay. I'm just gonna wait for the Vulcans and work out some kind of cultural exchange deal for room and board and transportation costs. They've probably got that whole radiation thing worked out already when going through the Van Allen belts, too.

    I hope to still be alive by April 5, 2063, but as I'll be nearly 93, it'd be a pretty big gamble to wait that long for me.

    The space elevator has always tickled my fancy, and showed up in more than a few dreams.  But if it's moorings come loose, well, that's a mighty powerful rubber band decimating all in it's path.

    That being said, let's build it.  Maybe it will take out 30 Rockefeller.



    In the trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars (an excellent read), the Martian space elevator does exactly what you describe.

    The space hotel is the final extension of the underlying belief of the rich that money is immortality.

    Not for me. For me, it's a romantic (if misplaced) vision of us learning to live in outer space. The only immortality delusions it fulfills is that of our species not having all of its eggs in one basket. The vision of the pale blue dot can do wonders to make us realize that we are all in this together.

    Very eloquent, Atheist.

    ...but then drop to only $1 million for a 5-day stay (is that 5 orbits or 120 hours?)


    It is fun to think that some megacorporation would be formed just to fuck with millionaires and steal their money under false pretenses. hahahhahah

    We'll leave the sun on for you ...

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