Now here's a vacation deal you probably won't ever see on discount travel websites.
For close to a million dollars, you can get a round trip flight from earth to outer space and a five night stay in an actual space hotel. That's the packaged price determined by Orbital Technologies, a Russian aerospace firm, which just released detailed designs for the Commercial Space Station (CSS), according to a report by Fox News.
Some of you might recall a few months ago that the company had been talking up plans to launch the module aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket by 2016. CEO Sergei Kostenko hasn't given an official tally on the total cost of the project but estimates that it would be somewhere in the ballpark of "hundreds of millions of dollars," an expenditure he expects to recoup by servicing space tourists who have a hefty chunk of change to spare.
"Of course, we expect to make profit -- this is purely business," Kostenko told the Associated Press at the time.
Is this for real?
While all this talk might sound overly ambitious, the project is being developed in collaboration with Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, which manufactures spacecraft and space station components for the Russian Space Agency. Additionally, the commercial space station has a vote of confidence from the state agency.
"We consider the Commercial Space Station a very interesting project, encouraging private participation," Vitaly Davydov, deputy head of Russia's Federal Space Agency told Space.com. "It will attract private investment for the Russian space industry."
For now, it's a plan that has yet to leap from the drawing board. But in case you're wondering what's the experience going to be like, there's a very unofficial itinerary based on details provided to the Daily Mail newspaper.
The space tourist experience
Based on details reported by the Daily Mail, here's a very, very unofficial itinerary:
- A trip to the space hotel, located 217 miles above earth, will take two days of flying aboard a Soyuz rocket. Tourists will be accompanied by an experienced astronaut crew.
- Once guests arrive at the space station, they will have the option of sleeping on either vertical or horizontal beds.
- Showers will available for washing up and toilets will use flowing air to flush instead of water. Urine will be recycled.
- Food will be prepared on earth and boxed up as readily available microwavable TV dinners. On the menu is braised veal cheeks with wild mushrooms, white bean puree, potato soup and plum compote. Guests can choose from a variety of refreshments, including iced tea, mineral water and fruit juices. However, alcohol consumption is not allowed (for obvious reasons of course).
- The hotel room pods will feature binoculars and cameras for guests to enjoy views of the home planet and beyond.
- The space hotel will feature four cabins and can accommodate up to seven guests, though they might on occasion have neighbors crashing over. It will be located 62 miles away from the International Space Station and will also serve as an emergency refuge for ISS crew members.
- Total cost: $942,000 ($785,000 for the flight and $157,000 for hotel stay)
(via The Daily Mail)
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