Space

To Boldly Go Where No Hotel Has Gone Before

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In the future, everything will look like the 60s.

My fiancée and I are in the midst of trying to plan our honeymoon. We're narrowing down our options, but I'm beginning to think an entirely new plan may be in order: Wait a couple of extra years, hope to win the lottery, then take our honeymoon in space.

According to MSNBC, the first space hotel is set to open in 2012, and a three night stay—complete with with eight weeks in a tropical locale—will run $4.4 million.

During their stay, guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes. They would wear Velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

Galactic Suite Ltd's CEO Xavier Claramunt, a former aerospace engineer, said the project will put his company at the forefront of an infant industry with a huge future ahead of it, and forecast space travel will become common in the future.

"It's very normal to think that your children, possibly within 15 years, could spend a weekend in space," he told Reuters Television.

A nascent space tourism industry is beginning to take shape with construction underway in New Mexico of Spaceport America, the world's first facility built specifically for space-bound commercial customers and fee-paying passengers.

Will commerce manage what government has failed to accomplish and take humanity to the stars? Sure, it's a long shot, but this is how so many innovations first appear—as exotic experiences for the super rich that eventually work their way down to the masses. I don't know if the next generation will really be able to spend a relaxing weekend orbiting the Earth, but I have a lot more confidence in the mad dreams of sci-fi geek billionaires than I do in the bland bureaucratic machinations of government-run space agencies.

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  1. My fianc?e and I are in the midst of trying to plan our honeymoon.

    The penis gois into the vagina.

  2. I want to fuck in space. It would obviously be awesome. Not for the sex, which I think just wouldn’t work…but for the novelty! What a bar story that would be.

    1. Yeah, spending three nights in a sperm-filled capsule is my idea of a good time.

      1. And I was not disparaging Mr. Suderman’s fiancee.

    2. Yeah, you’d have to be strapped together and strapped down or every thrust would send you both tumbling around. You can do the whole strapping down thing on earth for a lot cheaper. To avoid the various fluids floating around you need a strong ventilation system.

      1. you’d have to be strapped together and strapped down or every thrust would send you both tumbling around

        Or, y’know, use your arms and legs. Could you ram it Peter North-style? Probably not, but it’s not like you couldn’t have sex at all.

        1. Indeed, as the article states, your $4.4 million ticket includes free Velcro!

    3. In space, no one can hear you cum.

  3. And space-hotels will have The Blue Danube piped in, 24/7.

    (That’s 24 space-hours, 7 space-days a space-week.)

  4. My lazy ass will wait until the space elevator to the space hotel is up and running.

    1. It’s running now. It just stops at the 120th floor. And sometimes airplanes hit it.

      1. too soon

    2. Because you’re so fat?

      Xeones = Hindenberg

  5. A sci-fi crazed billionaire has proven that they are good at making money, nothing else.

    Going into a career at NASA means you have proven that you have a great deal of scientific acumen and a dedication to work in a field you love at the expense of perhaps higher pay in the private sector.

    I have to call shenanigans on the false dichotomy given at the end of the piece. It is perfectly plausible that the people working in NASA are every bit as talented and dedicated as some billionaire playboy.

    Without NASA paving the way by capturing the public imagination and creating a demand for space flight the private markets would be way less developed.

    Dig on the IRS or the Pentagon, or any one of the thousands of faceless bureaucracies, but NASA has been exceptional since they adopted the better faster cheaper methodology. Just look at the Mars Rover Program, I don’t think any other group of engineers in the world would have been so successful.

    1. The point is not that people in the private sector are more talented than those in the government (though frequently they are), but that the incentive structure of the private sector is more conducive to achieving things like space hotels.

      BTW, if someone was willing to pay for a Mars Rover, I guarantee you the private sector would build one faster, cheaper, and better than the one built by NASA.

    2. It’s not a false dichotomy. It’s a conclusion based on experience. And just because an organization contains talented people doesn’t make the organization talented, especially when the talent’s fettered by bureaucracy. As for the ‘better faster cheaper methodology’, one unbroken egg in a carton doesn’t prove the shipper’s competence. In time, opinions might change, but you shouldn’t be so shocked that people don’t think too much of NASA’s efficiency or competence.

    3. Re: Ramsey,

      Without NASA paving the way by capturing the public imagination and creating a demand for space flight the private markets would be way less developed.

      You do not know that for a fact. Private markets for space travel are still almost non existent, even with the spending on space exploration by NASA. This may be explained by the fact that most people are really NOT interested in going to space, just as most people were not interested in flying cars.

      Just look at the Mars Rover Program, I don’t think any other group of engineers in the world would have been so successful.

      That’s a bold statement; again, you cannot know that for a fact. Plus, most of the components were made by commercial companies (Maxon Motors made the efficient electric motors), so basically, any competent group of engineers could have made a rover just as capable, even cheaper. I have seen kids from MIT do wonderful things with off the shelf parts, bubble gum and duct tape.

    4. NASA is terrible on manned spaceflight. There are a number of observers who believe that SpaceX will have Dragon ready–as well as the Falcon boosters–to put men into orbit long before Orion/Ares. If that ever happens.

      Big problem with NASA is that it’s a jobs program first and foremost. It has an inherent inability to work towards cheap access to space, which is the Holy Grail in terms of exploration and exploitation of the solar system.

      As far as the private sector alternatives go, they have a tough road ahead. It’s kind of like getting the public option in healthcare first, then trying to start private competition. The market is skewed all out of whack, and the regulations are unfavorable and create some serious barriers to entry.

      Rand Simberg (of Transterrestrial Musings) had a great quote about relying on NASA versus private options for manned spaceflight in a recent article:

      As an example, SpaceX was built from scratch and has developed two launch systems (the Falcon 9 is currently scheduled for its first flight in February of next year) and a pressurized crew-and-cargo return capsule for less money than the Ares I-X flight test alone. For what NASA proposes to spend on Ares I itself, (forget about the heavy-lifter and the Orion crew module), it could form seventy SpaceXs. Is having NASA replicate capabilities that are already being provided by the private sector really the best use for what its defenders claim are its meager funds? Or should the agency instead be focused on the systems needed to get beyond Earth orbit? As Ed Crawley, another Augustine panel member has said, the policy question is not whether NASA can develop Ares, but whether it should do so.

  6. To boldy split infinitives that no man has split before.

  7. I dunno about all this space tourism business. Is space that cool? Certainly it is a novelty and there is something to that. But I dunno if that novelty is quite as big as so many seem to think. “Let’s sit in a room and be weightless!” Especially once such a thing becomes somewhat affordable for the general population and loses it’s shine.

    “So Dave you taking the family to space this year?”
    “Nah, their ain’t shit to do up there. And it makes the six year old puke. It’s either Disneyland or Hawaii this year.”

    I think there’s lots of room for private investment in space with regards to industrial applications, but I question whether tourism is really gonna be the big thing.

    1. I disagree, i think by the time the average american can afford to vacation to the moon we are going to be able to go much farther and deeper into space. We will find new and exciting planets to explore and hopefully some with an atmosphere that can sustain us. Everytime i hear about advancements in space i get excited becuase i really want to do an alien chick.

      1. That of course would not be space tourism. Space would merely be what you go through to get where you want to go.

        I’d definitely do an alien chick provided they did not produce too much mucus.

  8. Most everything happening in the world either depresses or enrages me.

    This, on the other hand, is truly awesome in the pre-surfer sense of the word. Completely awesome.

    And congratulations Peter!

  9. I agree Billy!. I just can’t see spending a bunch of money to vacation in space. Of course, I can’t figure out the draw of going to places like Vegas either.

  10. The success of the space hotel will be determined totally and completely by the porn-factor.

    I think that the first wave of “guests” will be the uber-rich and porn companies like Vivid. $4.4 million won’t be too much if you can sell a bazillion DVD’s of porn that is completely unaffected by gravity. I predict that parabolic money shot trajectories will become the next bushy beavers. Straight line ejaculations or death will be the new battle cry of the porn aficionados.

    Let’s face it, the thrill of a space hotel room isn’t in seeing the sun rise 15 times, it is in weightless sex. Be honest about it.

    Porn drives everything in high tech. If it wasn’t for porn, the internet would still be a plaything of academics.

  11. I predict that parabolic money shot trajectories will become the next bushy beavers.

    This is my favorite sentence on the Internets today.

  12. Epi: IF LOVIN’ SPACE ELEVATORS MAKES ME FAT, THEN I DON’T WANNA BE SKINNY.

    Nobody tell Steve Smith about the space porn, ok?

    1. STEVE NOT UNDERSTAND DVD FORMAT! MPEG-4 CONFUSING! PREFER RAPE SCENES ON 35MM! NEED MUCH MORE LIGHT FOR EXPOSURE! WHY STEVE GO TO SCHOOL FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY? NEED RAPE DEGREE INSTEAD!

      STEVE SMITH, MFA

  13. Congratulations to the two of you!

  14. “…but I’m beginning to think an entirely new plan may be in order: Wait a couple of extra years, hope to win the lottery, then take our honeymoon in space.”

    How rational; just the sort of sentence that should appear on reason.

  15. zero gee means the girl’ll have to move her ass once in a while.

    Be careful, as a stray queef could send her hurtling away.

    1. oh robin o’queef, queen of high school derision where are you?

  16. Lemme know when the price is comparable to a London or Bangkok getaway.

    I hope they make some money and nobody gets killed. I realistically expect some casualties in the space tourism industry though that is certainly no reason to regulate it.

  17. As cool as this is, I’d probably be constantly ralphing up internal organs from the motion sickness.

    ….or is that SPACE MADNESS?

    1. Space Herpes, dude. Eewww.

  18. They would wear Velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms

    Presumably the suits would have the necessary openings? I guess furries like Epi are ahead of their time if fucking in fuzzy suits is the way of the future.

    1. That’s Furries not furries.

      Show some respect for those twisted freaks and their gay outfits.

  19. The whole concept sounds like the setup for a horror/disaster movie. Poseidon Adventure in space sort of thing.

  20. Also, crawling around one’s walls on all fours just sounds like an invitation for an epic Steve Smith spacerape.

  21. Does it come with a Barberella costume? Betty would totally hot…

  22. Poseidon Adventure in space sort of thing.

    OH NOES THE SPACE STATION IS UPSIDE DOW- wait.

  23. Will commerce manage what government has failed to accomplish and take humanity to the stars?

    What makes you think government has failed? Maybe NASA is doing exactly what it was designed to do, keeping space the province of government.

    My thesis has always been that if the government were in charge of westward expansion, it would still be expensively experimenting with ways to get Highly-Trained Professionals across the Mississippi.

    Is a $4M+ hotel stay in orbit a silly thing? Yes, it is. But no more silly – and it costs me a great deal less – than the International Space Station that cost billions and can only hold two of the aforementioned Highly-Trained Professionals at a time.

    Space can either be put to use by humans or it can’t. The only way to find out is for people to go there and find the uses, if any. That won’t happen while the Space Travel Prevention Agency NASA is in charge of the endeavor.

    1. Interesting parallel between the westward expansion and space porn:

      It was all to bag some beavers.

  24. Major omission in this piece: Bigelow Aerospace. They’re actually performed tests in orbit of their planned inflatable hotel design.

    I’ll lay some odds that Bigelow is way ahead of these guys.

    1. Now if the Bigelow space hotels are used to film porn, let me suggest that the marketing jingle for such activities will be entitled, “I’m Just a Bigelow.” That will make sense then, because space sex will be colloquially referred to as bigelowing.

      1. Oh, and to provide full disclosure, Urkobold Media LLC is working in partnership with Bigelow, though that has nothing to do with my previous postings.

  25. FOOLS! HAVE YOU NO UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICS OR OF THE ART OF LOVE? VELCRO WOULD BE A MASSIVE FAILURE, SETTING BACK THE CAUSE OF SPACE PORN BY DECADES.

    THE SOLUTION? THE ORGASMATRON! SIMILAR TO THE SHOWERS USED BY SHUTTLE ASTRONAUTS, BUT DESIGNED WITH SEX IN MIND.

  26. The Orbitrer Hilton needs to fire their decorator.

  27. Most people will be way to busy throwing up to have any kind of sex. Non-puke in your partners face sex anyway. You’re weightless when you ride amusement park rides that drop you in free fall. It lasts about 2 seconds and people spend it screaming. Picture that feeling for the whole vacation. That’s being in orbit.

  28. Thanks, Pro Liberate for mentioning Bigelow. The guy behind Galactic Suite is a former aerospace engineer, not a hotelier. The guy behind Bigelow is a CURRENT hotelier, who grew rich in that business, and he EMPLOYS former NASA aerospace engineers. His design has been tested extensively on the ground and now, twice, in orbital space. We await news of the “third generation” model which — according to Bigelow’s earlier pronouncements — will be the the last test before his first real space hotel.

    Now, a thousand things could go wrong for Bigelow. But he had a great idea, a great team, excellent financing (last I checked, but we are in a global financial meltdown at the moment), and most importantly, he understands the hospitality industry.

    My money’s on Bigelow, but YMMV.

    1. Mine, too. It’s like scouting for the NFL–words and potential mean little compared to actual productivity. Bigelow is doing the right things and has advanced significantly towards realizing its goal. The giveaway to me is this 2012 nonsense–that’s like 0-60 mph in three nanoseconds.

      Mark my words, porn companies will be renting space on Dragon capsules, lifted by Falcon rockets, to get to Bigelow hotels in the next 7-10 years.

  29. Thanks also to Suderman (or whomever) for giving us the “2001” photo. That particular setting is burned into my memory since 1968, and was the first thing I thought of when “Connie” Hilton said he wanted a hotel “on the moon” in a recent episode of “Mad Men.” Hilton’s dream could still come true. Not so for the Pan Am prediction that “2001” made, alas.

  30. “During their stay, guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes.”

    Oh yeah, they might see the sun (and other things) rise 15 times a day; they might travel “around the world” (if you catch my drift) every 80 minutes.

    But would they “feel the earth move,” even once? No. No, they wouldn’t. Not at all, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Meditate on THAT.

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