It may sound a little Dr. Evil, or just plain far-fetched, but as of now, the Galactic Suite space hotel is a go for 2012. Barcelona-based architect Xavier Claramunt is promising a three-night stay 300 miles in orbit to anyone with 3 million euros ($4.15 million). The package includes shuttle trips to and fro plus an 18-week training program on a Caribbean island. Details surrounding certain creature comforts and necessities are still being ironed out.
Lest you think Claramunt is just a lone
wacko day dreamer, he has company. He claims to be backed by an unnamed US firm whose true intention is to colonize Mars, and thinks this would be a step in the right direction. Claramunt is also in talks with other financiers from Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
The 2012 configuration will be a three-bedroom "boutique hotel" with pods launched from individual rocket missions, then joined up in space. Claramunt says that the system is designed for modularity and expansion "based on the natural growth of a grapevine."
Though it is not clear exactly what intergalactic shuttle service Claramunt will be using, his concept artwork depicts a shuttle that may be related to SpaceShipOne, so the likely candidate is Virgin Galactic. You spacecraft fans may want to confirm that, or contribute your own analysis.
Claramunt told Reuters that while he believes there are 40,000 people on earth capable of enjoying his luxury offering, his team is still busy solving some problems.
During [their stay] guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and use Velcro suits to crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.
The final frontier is the toilet.
"It's the bathrooms in zero gravity that are the biggest challenge," says Claramunt. "How to accommodate the more intimate activities of the guests is not easy."
The Galactic Suite press release says the space tourists will also take part in scientific experiments, but again, there is no elaboration. I'm thinking Barry White, Hennessy and the right chapters from Robert Heinlein's naughtier sci-fi, and experimentation will just happen, yo.
To make a reservation, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Seriously.)