Russia and Spain Race to Develop Outer Space Hotels

No longer the stuff of science fiction, plans for the world’s first outer-space hotel are in the works?

Credit: Flickr/NASA

Russian and Spanish companies are vying for hotel space in outer space

A stay in outer space is coming closer to reality.
 To be called the “Commercial Space Station,” it’s the stuff Star Trek dreams are made of

The lead Russian contractor for the International Space Station (ISS) has announced it’s partnering with an American company to bring us the world’s first space hotel.

Word is that the first module of the hotel will be 20 cubic metres in area, have four chambers and be able to accommodate seven people at the same time. Space tourists will be taken to the hotel by Soyuz carriers, rockets that cost over US$71 million each. Unmanned Progress rockets will deliver supplies and meals, designed by celebrity chefs.

Besides its use for the budding trend of “cosmotourism,” the space hotel will double as an emergency overspill refuge for astronauts.

So far, private investors have said they’ll commit between $100 million and $1 billion for the project — and apparently several customers have already signed contracts. As far as timing goes on this project, late 2015 is the target date for completion.

Russia and Spain Fight for Space in Space

Russia was the first nation to conquer space, the first to orbit the Earth and the moon, the first to send a man and a woman into space, and the first to invent a docking system between a spacecraft and a space station, among many other successes over the years. Russia was also the first nation to launch commercial space tourism.

But if a company from Spain has its way, the Russians might face a bit of competition. The Barcelona-based architects of the Galactic Suite Space Resort have claimed their hotel could be accepting guests by 2012.

A price tag of three million Euros will get you a three-night stay at the hotel, and it includes an eight-week training course on a tropical island. 

Despite critics questioning the investment and time frame for the multi-billion-dollar project, the company behind the plans said it was on target as of late 2009.

On April 28, 2001, American engineer Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist, spending eight days in space aboard the ISS, making 128 orbits together with two Russian cosmonauts, in a joint venture between the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, MirCorp and Space Adventures.

With Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson getting set to send tourists into space, they’re going to need somewhere to stay — it’s now only a matter of time.

Other Unique Concept Hotels

You don’t have to head into outer space for unusual accommodations. Here are some other interesting concept hotels around the world:

Watch Claire Newell on Global BC News: Final (Mon.), Early (Wed.), Morning & Noon (Thur.), Noon (Sat.). Or catch her Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. on Shore 104 FM.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.