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Futuristic Travel (part 1) - Space

galacticsuitesThere is a lot of talk but, so far, no real action on commercial Space tourism.  But we may be getting close.  Enormous sums of money and some fast approaching dates are being bandied about.  But one thing is sure - to holiday in Space will be off-limits to all but the super-rich.  Here are the projects being talked about.

The Galactic Suite Space Resort, is a mini Space station orbiting in low Earth orbit (LEO) dedicated to accommodate private passengers. The aim is that it's functioning by the end of 2012.  Training will take place on a tropical island.  As a passenger you would make 15 orbits in a day - watching a sunset or rise every 45 minutes.  Costing a reported $4.4 million for a 3 night stay.

orbitalRussia's Orbital Technologies plan to open their boutique 4 cabin Space hotel in 2016, boasting wonderful views of Earth.  Priced at close to $1 million for a 5 day trip.

Virgin Galactic Space Travel will be a flight only option which offers, along with great views of Earth, the chance to experience microgravity.  A Spaceport has been built in New Mexico and Spaceport Sweden will also be used.  There virginwill be 3 days training followed by a trip in SpaceShipTwo, which carries 6 passengers and 2 pilots at speeds of 4000 km p/h to a peak altitude of 110 km before gliding home.  Slightly more accessible at $200,000 a go, the company are taking deposits and have said flights will be operational within 2012.

Biglows Aerospace are also working towards commercial human Space flight and expandable Space habitats, a Space hotel known as Commercial Space Station Skywalker.  Initial launch of its components is planned for 2014.  A room rate is projected to be $1 million a night.

lunaticThe Lunatic Hotel is designed by Hans-Jurgen Rombaut of the Netherlands and will be 2 towers with capsule rooms built on the Moon's surface, offering 'low gravity games' to its guests.  Thought to be in use by 2050.

The Japanese have a couple of projects in the pipeline.  Shimizu Construction aim to build a 64 room Space hotel in the next 20-30 years.  Meanwhile Obayashi Corporation have been researching ways to live on Mars and estimate that this will be a reality by 2057.