Managing Editor, Space.com (September 29, 2010)
"Two Russian aerospace companies are teaming up to build what they say will be the 'world's first commercial space station' - an orbiting outpost open to private citizens, professional astronauts and scientists. For a price.
"Called the Commercial Space Station, the orbiting space laboratory and hotel will be able to host up to seven people at a time. It is being planned under a partnership between the Russian companies Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia.
"The companies announced plans for the new space station today (Sept. 29) but did not reveal an estimated cost. The space station is expected to launch sometime between 2015 and 2016. The cost of individual trips may vary based on launch vehicle, duration and purpose of missions...."
(Orbital Technologies, via Space.com, used w/o permission)
"This artist's illustration shows a cross-section of the planned Commercial Space Station envisioned by Russian companies Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia. Credit: Orbital Technologies."
The Lemming thinks there will be quite a few "world's first commercial space stations."
Bigelow Aerospace already had two prototypes in orbit. (January 20, 2010") But those are prototypes, not rental property. Yet.
Then there's the 2003 proposal from Japan, for a hotel module on the ISS (International Space Station): a hotel; in orbit; but part of the ISS.
And the last I heard, a Spanish orbiting hotel was on schedule to go up in 2012. But those are hotels - maybe that doesn't count as "commercial?"
Maybe they'll all be "first" - with a footnote to explain distinctions like "first with sonic showers," "first with concierge parking," or "first with fur-trimmed exercise equipment." For all I know, the Russian module will be the very first.1
The Space.com managing editor may be aware of the global scramble to get first position in the orbiting hotel/tourism business: as evidenced by the article's first sentence.
The situation today reminds the Lemming of the Oklahoma rush of 1889. And that's another topic.
- "Commercial Flight to Mars: Maybe, in 15 Years or So"
(September 1, 2010)
- "Boeing CST-100 Spaceship: Passenger Service to ISS, Commercial Space Stations"
(July 21, 2010)
- "Bigelow Aerospace: Space to Rent or Lease, in Orbit"
(January 20, 2010)
- "Blue Origin: Another Company Building Spaceships"
(February 27, 2010)
- "America's Seventh Spaceport"
(January 19, 2010)
- "Bigelow Aerospace Space Habitat Prototype Passes Milestone"
(May 12, 2008)
- "Space hotel says it's on schedule to open in 2012"
Reuters (November 2, 2009)
- "Space Tourism To Rocket In This Century, Researchers Predict"
Science Daily (February 22, 2008)
- "Spanish venture aims to build space hotel
MSNBC (August 10, 2007)
- "An orbital space hotel concept in the near future." (abstract)
Science Links Japan (2003)
- "Orbital Considerations in Kankoh-Maru Return Flight Operations"
Trevor Williams and Patrick Collins, Space Future (June, 1999)
More, in this blog:
1 First with genuine Pyatizvyozdnaya Vodka and authentic samovar? Don't laugh: as long as the pilot's sober, booze in orbit shouldn't be all that big of a problem. Aside from cleanup.
Besides, there could be a secondary revenue stream from folks paying to delete videos taken of their sozzled efforts to move in microgravity.