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Space Hotel to Open in 2012 137

Posted by Zonk
from the l5-or-l4 dept.
blackdefiance writes "The New York Times is reporting that firm plans for the first hotel in space are now in the works. Slated for a 2012 opening, 'Galactic Suite' will cost about $4 million for a three-day stay. 'They may have solved the issue of how to take a shower in weightlessness -- the guests will enter a spa room in which bubbles of water will float around. When guests are not admiring the view from their portholes they will take part in scientific experiments on space travel. Galactic Suite began as a hobby for former aerospace engineer Claramunt, until a space enthusiast decided to make the science fiction fantasy a reality by fronting most of the $3 billion needed to build the hotel. An American company intent on colonizing Mars, which sees Galaxy Suite as a first step, has since come on board, and private investors from Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates are in talks.'"
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Space Hotel to Open in 2012

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  • 2012? Damn. (Score:4, Funny)

    by OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @03:33AM (#20193439) Journal
    The new space hotel sounds great, but a flight to space conflicts with the part of my schedule where I'm slated to die during the apocalypse.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      All of the apocalypse stories that I've heard talk about some doom that is going to happen on the Earth. It seems like that would be the perfect time to take a vacation in orbit.
      • by Wolfrider (856)
        --Erm... It's said that Teh Apocalypse may actually involve ASTEROIDS // debris from space... Guess who gets hit 1st then?

        --Regardless; I may apply for an Ops position at the Space Hyatt (or whatever) if this really happens. Instead of paying $millions, I get paid to WORK IN SPACE. How freakin' cool would that be? ;-)
      • Actually, I think OmgTEHMATRICKS is referring specifically to the apocalypse stories based on the end of the Mayan calender. December 21st, 2012, is the last day of their 5,125 year calander, leading some to believe that that date signifies the end of time (and the universe i gather). If that were true, it wouldn't matter where you were, as long as you were still in the universe.

        The theory is pretty convincing if you look at all the other weird things expected to happen that year at http://en.wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Iron Condor (964856)

          If that were true, it wouldn't matter where you were, as long as you were still in the universe.

          ...and What happens in the universe, stays in the universe.

    • The sooner the better and this little room in the sky will give people a healthy perspective on the BIG PICTURE, and how we each need each other, how beautiful the earth is, how we each need the same things, and how similar each culture is.

      This small step will help open the flood gates similar to when ships set sail in the maritime revolution, and bars and inns sprang up in new ports all over the world.

      We talk about this and how ROBOTS will soon be doing ALL our work ushering in what we call

      The Age of [teaminfinity.com]

      • Yes you did, it is all your fault, they will thank you tomorrow, I will thank you today for something that pricked my curiosity.

        Yes, I am human; Therefor, my curiosity may get me in to unknown situations sometimes,
        and fycked at other times (some sort of possibly pleasurable quantum effect), but it
        will never intentionally get me killed or stuck in a wall.
    • by morari (1080535)
      Though a Mayan prediction (and not even really of the End but a new beginning), I can't wait for the Apocalypse, or more specifically the Rapture. The moment when all the Christians world over suddenly disappear will be a great day!
      • But then, if the Christians disappear as they say they will, wouldn't it mean that they were right? And there would be an Antichrist and a Great Tribulation? If only Christians disappear, it infers that their POV is the correct one, everyone else is wrong, and things go bad quickly.
  • About time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eesu (903236)
    Its about time some private people and companies start taking a major interest in space.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drooling-dog (189103)
      Yes, and since private companies will face none of the safety and testing issues that folks like NASA have to contend with, they should be able to just slap this together and start shuttling paying tourists up there in no time. I'm surprised it's even going to take 5 years!
      • by grahamd0 (1129971)
        Why was this post "insightful"? I thought it was "funny".
      • by delt0r (999393)
        I hope they can do better than NASA. They produce the most unsafe, expensive and unreliable transport system ever conceived by man. And I'm being polite.
  • This is how we keep the economy afloat.
  • How are they going to get people on and off the station?
    My first thought was Dragon, but according to the SpaceX website the price for even the cheapest Falcon9 to LEO is 35 million, with a suggested price of 4 million for a three day stay and the Dragon capsule being capable of carrying 7 people this can't possibly be profitable (or even close to break even).
    Anyone know what launch vehicle they're planning to use?
  • Skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @03:51AM (#20193505) Journal
    Despite being a pretty hardcore private space proponent, I'm rather skeptical about this. I could be wrong, but it seems that all Claramunt has is a design and backing from an anonymous funding source. Meanwhile, Bigelow Aerospace [wikipedia.org] has a couple of working prototypes in orbit right now, and by 2012 plans to lease entire orbital facilities for $88 million/year (or $18 million for an 2-month stay).

    Also, I'm guessing the cited figure of "$4 million for a three-day stay" doesn't include the cost of getting to orbit in the first place. For a Soyuz flight, that's at least $20 million per person.
    • by swokm (1140623)
      Yes, but who's going to pay to enter an inflatable when he could get inside the real thing for the same price?
      • by FleaPlus (6935)
        > Yes, but who's going to pay to enter an inflatable when he could get inside the real thing for the same price?

        Huh? What do you mean by "real thing"?
        • by swokm (1140623)
          Er... it was a joke. You know, how Bigelow's habs are sort of tough, inflatable fabric as opposed to the traditional "tin can" style.

          You know what ELSE some weirdos could 'enter' that is inflatable... ;) I'm apparently the least funny mofo on the damned planet. :(

          Sigh. I am so depressed now.
          • by FleaPlus (6935)
            You know what ELSE some weirdos could 'enter' that is inflatable... ;) I'm apparently the least funny mofo on the damned planet. :(

            Oh, hah, sorry, I -totally- missed that joke. ;)
    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      The cost is staggering, but hey, there are a helluva lot worse ways to spend 45 million dollars for those that have the resources.
      • by tomhudson (43916)

        Regarding your sig: "Morality is doing the right thing; ethics is doing the right thing even when you know no one is watching you."

        So, we could say that paranoid people are the only people who are ethical by nature :-)

        • by pipingguy (566974) *
          I guess that's one way of looking at it. By the way, how did you get my email address, are you the CIA again?
          :)
    • I am guessing that the article is talking about bigelow's. Keep in mind that bigelow will sell a module for 100 million (and that was the ba-330) in 2005 money. But the 3 man version is suppose to be in orbit around 2010-2011 and is known as the Galaxy. Bigelow is probably looking to get one of the galaxies attached to the ISS for a year or 2 (you did notice the attempt to allow private enterprise to make use of the ISS). Later, it will be replaced with a BA-330. After that time, they will be leasing AND
      • by FleaPlus (6935)
        I am guessing that the article is talking about bigelow's.

        Actually, that sounds quite possible, especially since Bigelow has stated that he emphatically doesn't want to get into the space hotel business directly, but would rather lease it to somebody else to do so. I would've thought the article would've mentioned something like that, though.
  • by backslashdot (95548) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @03:53AM (#20193507)
    Just because they don't have a practical idea doesn't mean they can't rip off investors.
  • So If Nasa does not plan on going back to the moon until 2018 [space.com], one just has to contest the validity of their claims. In 5 year i doubt the private space companies will develop technology to LAND on the moon AND build anything there. If you cant get to the moon cost efficiently, all else fails.
    • by qbwiz (87077) *
      "Fly me to the moon" is just the headline of the story and the name of a song; it does not, in fact, have anything to do with the location of the hotel. The hotel would probably be built in low earth orbit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slobarnuts (666254)
      holy crap, they were not even talking about on the moon. They were talking orbital. $3 Billion is not enough to build a hotel, considering the ISS is cost at least 1 BILLION dollars per year to operate.
      • Re:Bull (Score:4, Interesting)

        by FleaPlus (6935) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @05:29AM (#20193839) Journal

        holy crap, they were not even talking about on the moon. They were talking orbital. $3 Billion is not enough to build a hotel, considering the ISS is cost at least 1 BILLION dollars per year to operate.
        As I've mentioned in another comment, Bigelow Aerospace already has a couple of one-third-size habitat prototypes in orbit right now, and he's stated that he doesn't plan to spend a total of more than $400 million on the project over the next several years.

        Keep in mind that most of the $1.8 billion annual cost of the ISS [wikipedia.org] is spent on space shuttle flight operations. Of course, since the space shuttle is used almost exclusively for the ISS, a good part of the $4 billion a year it costs to keep the shuttles running should probably be added to that as well. In any case, NASA's ISS spending figure isn't a good indicator of how much it would cost to run a for-profit orbital habitat.
    • You forget that the majority of present day space vehicles are in fact built by private sector companies: Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Arianne, Energia and so on. NASA doesn't have factories.
    • They are putting up a hotel, not putting up a building. Almost certainly, it will use the bigelow modules. Roughly, Bob Bigelow is selling westerners who can actually buy the modules what to use these for. Bob will also have 1 hotel up there, but would like to see some competition up there. If more groups announce that they are building hotels up there AND on the moon, then private enterprise will rush in to fill the void. As I said on another posting, I believe that private enterprise will be on the moon b
  • by zCyl (14362)
    Do they have valet parking?
    • by owlnation (858981)
      Does it have blackjack and hookers?
    • Hotel Employee: "Hello and welcome to the Space Hotel, are you checking in?"
      Guest: "Yes, name is Wilson"
      Employee: "Ok great, let me find you on the computer, this will just take a second {clickity clickity clack clack click clack...)"
      Employee: "Hmmm, and your reservation was for today?"
      Guest: "Yes"
      Employee: "Ok, hold on, (click clack clickity click...)"
      Employee: "Hm. Uh, how do you spell Wilson?"
      Guest: "W I L S O N"
      Employee: "Yes, that's what I was trying, but I just don't see it. Do you have your confirm
  • Vaporware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lon Star (998458) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @04:17AM (#20193589)
    I'm surprised how much play this story is getting considering how little evidence there is that this is little more than someone's joke design project for fun. Especially when there is another, more legitimate company like Bigelow Aerospace that also intends on having a private space station by 2012 but can back that up with TWO test modules actually in space and actually has a manufacturing facility.

    I mean, the reporter takes their word for it when they say some American who they can't name is giving them $3 billion. I figure I could got to the same reporter and say someone is giving me a couple billion to build the world's biggest saussage and it will make the headlines the next day.

    Not sure how much competition to Bigelow they really are, and I also have doubts about their $3 billion funding figure. I think we need more proof than their word.

    Bigelow has: - A manufacturing plans currently building the modules for its stations - A corporate structure - Two test modules currently in space - A concrete business plan - More than 100 employees

    Galactic Suite has: - A Web site with nice illustrations. Though its strange title font looks like it was done in Microsoft Paint.

    This seems like little more than a nice Web site and fancy illustrations. Galactic Suite also seems to indicate it would use the Space Shuttle for construction, which would be news to NASA, which plans to put the orbiters in the Smithsonian by 2010.

    Seems like more vaporware to me. I'd rather put my money on Bigelow to build the first private space station.

    Bigelow put up some cool, REAL pictures from space on this page: http://bigelowaerospace.com/out_there/view_photos. php [bigelowaerospace.com].

    • Vacuumware (Score:3, Funny)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      There, fixed it for ya...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by swokm (1140623)
      Sir! I think that a flabbergastingly preposterous accusation! I have seen these resplendently detailed plans with my very own eyes!

      I will be most delighted to share them with you: Behold! [venganza.org]

      PS. Please address checks to "My Kool Space Howse", P.O Box...
    • by aquabat (724032)

      I mean, the reporter takes their word for it when they say some American who they can't name is giving them $3 billion.
      I bet the secret investor is Darl McBride.
    • by Shotgun (30919)
      Hello sir,

      My name is Negeroponte. I am the third cousin of our beloved dictator that was deposed recently. I am involved in a secret plot to move his hidden funds of approximately $3 billion (US) out of the country. I would like to invest in your sausage. It sounds truly delicious. If you would simply transfer $200 in the account, whose number I will provide, .....
  • 2012? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SageMusings (463344) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @04:17AM (#20193591) Journal
    3 megabucks per passenger would not pay for it even if they had the lift and an orbiting facility. Gosh, 2012? It is going to take longer just to figure out cheaper launch vehicles. Also the first time a rich "astro-tourist" gets killed (1st or 2nd flight), the whole operation sinks.
  • Wait... (Score:3, Funny)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <(michaelmtripp) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday August 11, 2007 @04:45AM (#20193713) Homepage
    How will they keep the mints from floating off the pillows?
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @05:37AM (#20193867)
      It's obvious: put the mints underneath the pillows. How they then stop the pillows from floating off the mints is another matter entirely...
  • Okay, I could imagine that *maybe* there are people willing to pay that much to stay in a space hotel. The problem is, what good is having a luxury space hotel suite if you can't hire strippers to dance in it, much less drink champagne in your hot tub with them. Face it folks, besides watching all your friends vomit, weightlessness is no fun.
  • What a way to spend money!

    Earn in Earth.Spend in Space !!

    (c) :)
  • This just in!:
    LOLOLOLLLOLOLOLOLL!L!1!1!1!1one1!1!11

    Do they offer free wifi service? =/...
  • by Gizah (887392)
    How are they going to stop those bibles floating away? hmm?
    • Normally, I believe, the Gideon Bible is stuffed into a drawer. I believe that the drawer will keep the Bible in place until someone wants or needs to read it.
  • This is just like the news stories that 'predict' that we will all have walking robots in our homes in a years time.
  • You get a username/password dialog box. WTF?
  • by Shag (3737) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @07:17AM (#20194251) Homepage
    I, for one, welcome our new Vermicious Knid overlords.
  • by 3seas (184403) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @07:44AM (#20194347) Journal
    Eight weeks of training at a james bond style camp on a tropical island.

    and while up in space for three days...
    During that time guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day...

    costing $4 million for a three-day stay.

    and then there is a bill correction afterward..

    15 sunrises a day for three days = 45 sunrises.

    I'm sorry sir, according to our corrected calculations you were up there for more than 3 days...

    45 days to be correct.

    At 4 million per three days that comes to $60 million dollars.

    here is you after bill of $56 million.

    Now its beginning to make financial since...
  • by jconley (28741) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @07:53AM (#20194385) Homepage
    DJ Ruby Rhod!
  • Will I be able to ride my hoverboard there?
  • 4 million? (Score:3, Funny)

    by rdean400 (322321) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @09:15AM (#20194743)
    Sheesh, where's PriceLine when you need it?
  • So, is there a reason this has not been tagged getyourasstomars yet?
  • by abes (82351)
    I think this is one of the first steps for a human presence in space. In many ways it follows how international airflight became economical. With that said, there are a couple of issues.

    Firstly, unlike international flights, there is no ultimate functional destination (yet). The only reason to be there currently is because you have money to waste. Other business ventures need to be set up to create a supportable ecosystem. Two other businesses that may be sensible would be: research, though getting the gove
    • I mean come on what was vegas... a big boring desert now look at it

      we need a casino resort on the moon... (or just floating in orbit.. whatever)

      although working there would kinda suck.. but whatever
      • by abes (82351)
        For Vegas a large number of people were needed. Even if the initial costs go down, only a very small number of people can afford it. Which is fine, as I'm assuming they're not building it very large. But the problem is that there isn't going to be much to do when you are up there. It's an experience, but not a destination. I doubt too many people will return for another time to watch the earth go by.

        So, yes, a casino, restaurant, and bar will be needed. But those won't really be possible until some gravity
  • I'd hate to see how much they charge for the in-room bar...
  • Can we PLEASE spend some of the money we are currently wasting in Iraq on something like this?
  • We need artificial gravity, dammit!
  • ....what to do about the vermicious knids?

  • by Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @02:39PM (#20196947) Homepage Journal
    This NY Times article came from Reuters.
    Here is the original article:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSL10 89156420070810?pageNumber=2&sp=true [reuters.com]
    No registration required to see this.
  • Disgusting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by g0at (135364) <ben@zygo[ ]ca ['at.' in gap]> on Saturday August 11, 2007 @04:55PM (#20197879) Homepage Journal
    We have high death tolls and squalid conditions in developing nations, yet American billionaires have their heads so far up their asses that they'd rather piss about their wealth on an esoteric toy of value to a statistically negligible number of people. Sad.

    b
    • by grahamd0 (1129971)

      I understand the emotional grounds for your viewpoint, but I think you need to factor in how the money would be spent before you jump to conclusions.

      Would these decadent billionaires be spending their money investing in infrastructure in developing nations? There's little to no return on their investment, so that's unlikely. Maybe a philanthropic few of them would send money for medical supplies or food, which will help temporarily alleviate the symptoms, but it won't cure the disease. That's assuming the

    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      We could waste all our resources trying to feed and keep alive the people in developing nations -- thereby encouraging them to have even more children, who will need even more supporting.

      Or, we could reach for the stars and bring back some asteroids which will do so much more for the people of Earth than the sum total of all the charitable contributions ever donated.

      I know which one I'd bet on, and I'm glad to see people with far more resources than me agreeing. You seem rather bitter; remember that you

      • by g0at (135364)
        We could waste all our resources trying to feed and keep alive the people in developing nations -- thereby encouraging them to have even more children, who will need even more supporting.

        Maybe we should use the money to start slaughtering existent populations in the developing world then, instead, and nip this problem in the bud.

        Or, we could reach for the stars and bring back some asteroids which will do so much more for the people of Earth than the sum total of all the charitable contributions ever donated
        • by Thing 1 (178996)

          Maybe we should use the money to start slaughtering existent populations in the developing world then, instead, and nip this problem in the bud.

          You so don't want to learn the lesson about honey and vinegar, do you? Well, your bitterness has convinced me not to donate to any charities you're involved in, for now. (This is not a threat, or a challenge, or an insult; it's simply my judgment as to where to spend my resources. You seem to be charity-minded, but your tone belies something different altogeth

          • by g0at (135364)
            Thanks for the passage. That's an interesting philosophy; I didn't realise that harvesting asteroids from space was in the cards, but it's an interesting idea.

            Nonetheless, the examples given of what to do with the proceeds of such wealth included rehabilitating populations in Africa. How is this end-game different from "wast[ing] all our resources trying to feed and keep alive the people in developing nations -- thereby encouraging them to have even more children, who will need even more supporting"?

            -ben
            • by Thing 1 (178996)

              Nonetheless, the examples given of what to do with the proceeds of such wealth included rehabilitating populations in Africa. How is this end-game different from "wast[ing] all our resources trying to feed and keep alive the people in developing nations -- thereby encouraging them to have even more children, who will need even more supporting"?

              Well, on the surface, you're right -- the two look to be about the same.

              However, the former course limits our abilities to get to the stars, and if we waste enou

    • First of all, I'm with the vaporware claims on this.

      Secondly, I'd rather see billionaires spending their money creating high paying, high tech jobs building stuff in space than buying hookers, drugs, wigs, and contrived and boring talk or reality tv shows.

      Third, you can throw all the money you want at the problem spots in the world, but until someone figures out how to fix the incredibly messed up politics of those places, most of that money will continue to be used to buy more guns/diamonds/sex slave

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