The age of space tourism might be closer than you think. In fact, if you have an extra $1 million lying around, five years from now you could be one of the first off-world adventurers to stay for five days in this orbiting hotel built by Russian company Orbital Technologies.
You’ll get there via a Russian Soyuz rocket, taking you about a day to reach the Commercial Space Station 217 miles above the earth. Once you catch up to the orbiting abode, you’ll settle in with your comrades — up to six other space tourists (or researchers) — for an unparalleled adventure, residing in four cabins aboard the space station.
While you’re traveling at 17,500 miles per hour in low earth orbit, you’ll be pampered with all the spacely amenities you can imagine, such as plenty of gourmet foods, a specially designed sealed shower, your choice of a vertical or horizontal bed (does it really matter in the microgravity of space?), and you might even get to sip some Tang spiked with your favorite vodka (okay, we made that last one up — unfortunately, alcohol will not be available).
Perhaps the best feature of the Commercial Space Station will be its large portholes, which will probably occupy most of your time as you gaze out into the cosmos and down at the earth below.
We’re just wondering if this trip can really be done for $1 million apiece, when Russia and the U.S. agreed in 2009 on a $51 million price for each Soyuz round trip. No matter what, it’s not going to be cheap. We can only hope there will be many private space ventures in operation during the next decade or two (so far, we’ve counted 9 private sector companies ready to take off into space), creating a competitive environment for such spectacular vacations that could bring the price down to mere stratospheric levels.
Blows my mind what we can do these days. For a cool million you can spend 5 days in space. If I was filthy rich I would probably consider this. Well probably not, some serious problems could happen and that would freak me the hell out. Lets just say I would need about 100 people to do this successfully before I would jump in. Anybody have a million bucks to get rid of?