With private companies like SpaceX making serious expeditions into space, the dream of launching into orbit is no longer a privilege reserved for competitively selected astronauts. While spaceflight will likely not be accessible to the average person anytime soon, companies like SpaceX show us that with enough money and innovation, destinations like the International Space Station are accessible to more than governmental agencies. Russia seems to have recognized the potential for space tourism, and has announced plans to create a luxury hotel on the ISS.
A Luxury Hotel on the ISS
In its current incarnation, space tourism is only realistic for the extremely wealthy. With how expensive launching a spacecraft is, it’s understandable that a flight dedicated to space tourism would cost some serious cash. However, even for millionaires, a lunch into space is a relatively spartan affair. Russia seeks to make a trip to space a little more cushy, with a luxury hotel on the ISS.
The luxury hotel on the ISS will offer private cabins featuring big windows, dedicated personal hygiene facilities, exercise equipment — and astoundingly, a WiFi connection. Finally, your dream of sharing Instagram selfies from outer space may become a reality — provided you have millions of dollars to burn on the trip there and back, of course.
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In addition to a seriously impressive view and bragging rights, visitors to the luxury hotel on the ISS will have the opportunity to go on spacewalks with a professional Russian cosmonaut.
The price of this expedition is rather extreme, costing roughly $40 million per person. If you’d like to stay for a month and go on a few spacewalks, expect to drop $20 million more.
Spaceflight continues to be inaccessible to all but the richest among us, but for those with the means, dropping $60 million on an unforgettable trip only experienced by a handful of people in our planet’s history may be worth it.
Development and Room Plans
So you’ve mailed in your check for $60 million and you’re ready for your month in space. What exactly can you expect?
The luxury hotel on the ISS is under construction of the Russian Roskosmos State Corporation. Popular Mechanics got their hands on a detailed proposal, and the new 15.5meter-long module would weigh a massive 20 tons and provide 92 cubic meters of space. There will be four rooms with two cubic meters of space each, as well as two “hygiene and medical” stations of roughly the same size.
Every room will have a porthole of around 9 inches, with a huge 16-inch window for an excellent view from your new luxury digs.
While the trips to the luxury hotel on the ISS are extremely expensive, the tourist module is expected to cost between $279-$466 million. To recoup the cost, the company plans to carry up to six tourists to the ISS annually, with hopes to pay for the construction over a period of around seven years.
While the market for these trips is currently extremely small, the success of the luxury hotel on the ISS banks on an increasing population of millionaires worldwide. Popular Mechanics estimates that more than 43000 people worldwide will soon have a net worth of more than $30 million. If just 36 of these wealthy individuals choose to make the trip, the hotel will turn a profit.
At the end of the day, it’s painfully clear that the dream of heading to a luxury hotel on the ISS is out of reach for most of us. Still, for any readers that have a cool $60 million lying around, you may soon be able to make the trip of a lifetime.