Russia to Build the First Space Hotel

Space could soon turn into the trendiest tourist destination with views that are out of this world as a Russian firm announced plans to fill the vacuum in the space tourism market by stationing an orbiting hotel in the cosmos.

The Moscow-based Orbital Technologies has higher-than-the-sky hopes that its Commercial Space Station can serve as a tourism center for wealthy travelers as well as acting as a safety module should something go wrong on the International Space Station (ISS).

It’s being partially funded by Energiya, the  Russian company that builds the Soyuz rockets and Progress cargo ships that service the ISS. Investors from Europe and America have already shown interest in the project.

The company wants to launch a seven-room station by 2016. It is said that it will be a comfortable hotel orbiting the earth at almost 30,000 kilometers per hour. The design is still being worked out.

Until now, space tourists have squeezed into the overcrowded ISS together with cosmonauts and float around the space laboratory trying not to break anything.

Now, or at least soon, they will have a place of their own to relax. The price for such an adventure is as yet undisclosed.

All the space tourists who have traveled to the ISS were trained in Russia and sent into orbit on Russian Soyuz capsules.

Canadian Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte was the last space tourist to travel to the station.

It is said that the Russian project will compete with Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based firm headed by hotelier Robert Bigelow, owner of Budget Suites of America, which also plans to build a space complex.

The AP

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