The Space Hotel
Several Plans have been Proposed for using a Space Station as a Hotel

The Space Hotel
Several Plans have been Proposed for using a Space Station as a Hotel

A web-based survey suggested that over 70% of those surveyed wanted less than or equal to 2 weeks in space; in addition, 88% wanted to spacewalk (only 14% of these would do it for a 50% premium), and 21% wanted a hotel or space station.

After early successes in space, much of the public saw intensive space exploration as inevitable. Those aspirations are remembered in science fiction such as Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Lucian in the 2nd century AD in his book True History examines the idea of a crew of men whose ship travels to the Moon during a storm. Jules Verne also took up the theme of lunar visits in his books, From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon.

Robert A. Heinlein’s short story The Menace from Earth, published in 1957, was one of the first to incorporate elements of a developed space tourism industry within its framework.

During the 1960s and 1970s, it was common belief that space hotels would be launched by 2000. Many futurologists around the middle of the 20th century speculated that the average family of the early 21st century would be able to enjoy a holiday on the Moon.

In the 1960s, Pan Am established a waiting list for future flights to the moon, issuing free "First Moon Flights Club" membership cards to those who requested them.

The end of the Space Race, culminating in the Moon landings, decreased the emphasis placed on space exploration by national governments and therefore led to decreased demands for public funding of manned space flights.

Space Tourism is space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. Orbital space tourism opportunities are limited and expensive, with only the Russian Space Agency providing transport.

The price for a flight brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft was US$ 20–35 million.

Some space tourists have signed contracts with third parties to conduct certain research while in orbit. A number of startup companies have sprung up in recent years, hoping to create a space tourism industry.

Russia halted orbital space tourism in 2010 due to the increase in the International Space Station crew size, using the seats for expedition crews that would be sold to paying spaceflight participants.

However, tourist flights are tentatively planned to resume in 2013, when the number of single-use three-person Soyuz launches could rise to five a year.

Several plans have been proposed for using a space station as a hotel. American motel tycoon Robert Bigelow has acquired the designs for inflatable space habitats from the Transhab program abandoned by NASA. His company, Bigelow Aerospace, has already launched two first inflatable habitat modules. The first, named Genesis I, was launched 12 July 2006.

The second test module, Genesis II, was launched 28 June 2007. Both Genesis habitats remain in orbit as of mid-2009.

As of 2006, Bigelow planned to officially launch the first commercial space station by 2012 (tagged Nautilus) which will have 330 cubic meters (almost as big as the ISS's 425 cubic meters of usable volume).

Bigelow Aerospace was offering the America's Space Prize, a $50 million prize to the first US company to create a reusable spacecraft capable of carrying passengers to a Nautilus space station, no one made an attempt to win the prize. Other companies have also expressed interest in constructing "space hotels".

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For example, Excalibur Almaz plans to modernize and launch its Soviet-era Almaz space stations, which will feature the largest windows ever on spacecraft.

Virgin's Richard Branson has expressed his hope for the construction of a space hotel within his lifetime. He expects that beginning a space tourism program will cost $100 million.

Hilton International announced the Space Islands Project, a plan to connect together used space shuttle fuel tanks, each the diameter of a Boeing 747 aircraft.

A separate organization, Space Island Group announced their distinct Space Island Project (note the singular "Island"), and plans on having 20,000 people on their "space island" by 2020, with the number of people doubling for each decade.

British Airways has expressed interest in the venture. If and when Space Hotels develop, it would initially cost a passenger $60,000, with prices lowering over time. Fashion designer Eri Matsui has designed clothing, including a wedding gown, intended to look best in weightless environments.