Roscosmos is evaluating a proposal to build a five-star accommodation attachment to the International Space Station (ISS), which would offer people the chance to take one to two-week-long trips to space packed full of some interesting activities.
The proposal to expand the ISS into a luxury hotel was reported on by Popular Mechanics. The plan includes private cabins with large windows to gaze out at space from, exercising equipment to stay in shape in a lower gravity environment, and even Wi-Fi.
As part of the experience, space tourists would also be able to stay with cosmonauts and go out on spacewalks with them. The business plan is being proposed by a space station contractor called RSC Energia. For those thinking that a trip to the International Space Station would make an ideal next vacation, you should first consider the price. It’s thought that the journey into space would cost visitors between $40 million and $60 million. So it might be best to start saving now.
Russia is now part of a select group competing in the tourism space race. Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin have all set out plans to take people into space for a fee, but none to date have offered any kind of accommodation outside of the world’s atmosphere. Most of these trips would involve a short foray into gravity-free space, before coming straight back down to earth, presumably without a bang.
Virgin Galactic, for example, will charge $250,000 for a two-and-half-hour experience which includes six minutes of weightlessness, and the chance to see the curvature of the Earth from space. The company’s spacecraft VSS Unity successfully completed a test run in January, and is expected to start commercial flights this year. During the test, Unity was released from a mothership over the Mojave Desert at around 50,000 feet, and accelerated to Mach 0.9 during a steep descent. The exercise was designed to test the flight performance, stability, and control before a safe landing.
The likes of Stephen Hawking, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Justin Bieber have all reportedly signed up. The spacecraft will be able to take two pilots and six passengers at a time to space. Meanwhile, Blue Origin, founded by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, is also looking to break into the space tourism space, but is yet to reveal how much a ticket would cost.
Other plans are more ambitious. Elon Musk wants to charge $200,000 for a ticket to Mars, with the SpaceX CEO aiming to get one million people to the Red Planet in the next 50 to 150 years.