Space Tourism: Russia Plans Luxury Hotel on the ISS

Russia’s space agency is planning a new luxury hotel module for the International Space Station (ISS) that will allow space tourists to visit the satellite for up to a month at a time.

A detailed business proposal from the Roscosmos State Corporation seen by Popular Mechanics revealed that the high-comfort module would contain four private sleeping quarters and would cost visitors between $40 million and $60 million per trip.

Tourists would also have the opportunity to take part in a space walk alongside professional astronauts aboard the ISS, as well as have access to exercise equipment, WiFi and personal washing facilities.

The 51-foot-long hotel module would reportedly resemble the Science and Power Module (NEM-1), which is scheduled for delivery to the ISS in 2021.

space tourism iss russia hotel American astronaut Joseph Tanner waves to the camera during a space walk as part of the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station, September 2006. Future space tourists could be able to take part in space walks with professional astronauts. NASA/Getty Images

The luxury hotel is expected to cost between $279 million and $446 million to build and will be funded with a mix of private and state investments. Passengers will be expected to pay for the trip in installments, beginning two years before their launch date.

Other space tourism projects currently under development include private ventures by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, and Russian firm KosmoKurs.

Earlier this year, Blue Origin unveiled concept images of a capsule that it hopes will take passengers to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, 62 miles above the planet. In a video released last week, Blue Origin showed what a trip might look like with a test flight using mannequin passengers in place of humans.

Bezos said one of the biggest draws to his firm for any potential tourist is that the capsules will feature the “largest windows ever in space,” allowing passengers to fully appreciate the curvature of the Earth.

“We’ve been designing the capsule interior with an eye toward precision engineering, safety, and comfort,” Bezos said in March. “Every seat’s a window seat.”

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Blue Origin hopes to take the first paying passengers to the edge of space within the next two years, while KosmoKurs says it expects to receive its first passengers in 2020.

Virgin Galactic is yet to set a date for when its craft will be passenger-ready, though it has already started accepting money from customers interested in coming aboard.

“When we are confident we can safely carry our customers to space, we will start doing so,” the company said in a statement last year. “We feel incredibly honored that our earliest paying customers already number more than the total number of humans who have ever been to space.”

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