First Space Hotel Set to Open in 2012

| by Reason Foundation
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.