Russia wants to welcome space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2022.
The nation’s space agency, Roscosmos, is currently reviewing plans for a five-star hotel onboard the space station.
Courtesy of the Russian space agency. The amenities will include a luxury orbital suite parked at the International Space Station (ISS) offering private cabins with big windows, personal hygiene facilities, exercise equipment and even Wi-Fi. In addition gazing at our tiny blue orb from a dizzying altitude of 250 miles, space tourists will have an opportunity for space walks accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.
The entire trip, lasting from one to two weeks will cost $40 million per person and going with the spacewalk option and an extended month-long stay will set the traveler back an additional $20 million.
This is the gist of Russia’s grand scheme to return into the space tourism business. This month, Roskosmos State Corporation had began reviewing a business plan for a high-comfort addition to the ISS. According to a detailed proposal seen by Popular Mechanics, the 20-ton, 15.5-meter-long module would provide 92 cubic meters of pressurized space. It would accommodate four sleeping quarters sized around two cubic meters each and two “hygiene and medical” stations of the same volume. Each private room would also have a porthole with a diameter of 228 millimeters (9 inches), while the lounge area of the module would have a giant 426-millimeter (16-inch) window.
The external structure of the tourist module looks like the Science and Power Module, NEM-1, which Russia is currently building for the International Space Station. The second NEM module had originally been on the books in the station’s assembly scenario, but the Russian government funded only one module. It will serve primarily as a science laboratory and a power-supply station for the ISS.
Now, Russia’s prime space station contractor, RKK Energia, came up with a scheme to pay for the second NEM module through a mix of private and state investments. To make profit, the NEM-2 would be customized for paid visitors.
RKK Energia pioneered space tourism in the 1990s, first renting the Mir space station to a private firm and then flying millionaires to the ISS. However in recent years, tourist flights have been on hold because Russia’s ISS partners booked all available seats on the Soyuz spacecraft, which remains the only way to reach the outpost after the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011. The Soyuz will become available again in a couple of years, as NASA’s private contractors, like SpaceX, are poised to introduce orbital taxis of their own.