News recently made the rounds that a Russian outfit called Orbital Technologies had thrown their hat into the ring for giving future civilian astronauts a destination for their journey.
It’s a small space station with four “hotel” rooms (aka cupboards), providing accommodation for up to seven guests at a time.
Amenities include real water showers (now that’s a luxury in space!) and gourmet meals prepared on Earth, reheated on-board.
Although small, the station is studded with airlocks, so up to four craft can dock at the same time, which will increase the size a bit. Even so, it looks like it will be a tight squeeze for seven adult humans.
Having a quick look through the promotional renders, I can’t see anything that looks like it’s providing life support or power for the station. Presumably one or more of the docked space craft will be called on for these services. It’s a smart way of making the station cheaper to build and launch and there’s less that can go wrong.
The most interesting part of all this is the estimated cost. Apparently the ride up to the station will set the holiday maker back a mere US$826,000, though once you arrive, it’s another US$165,000 per night.
I have no idea how they arrived at a cost of under $1 million US dollars. Consider that Virgin Galactic is offering what is little more than a tall roller coaster ride ride for US$200,000, or that the Russians were/are selling trips to the International Space Station for UD$20 to UD$35 million per person, and Orbital Technologies’ price tag is a steal.
Then again, maybe once you get there, you’ll find out it’s only going to cost you another $20 million if you don’t want to walk home…