$3 Billion Space Hotel to Open in 2012

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The opportunity to vacation in space may be right around the corner.

Reuters wrote yesterday that a Barcelona-based company, Galactic Suite Ltd, plans to open a multi-billion dollar space resort in 2012.

A "space pod" will circumnavigate the Earth every 80 minutes, giving guests a chance to watch the sun rise 15 times a day. Weightless space tourists will also "wear Velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman," said Reuters.

Tourists looking for an adventure that is out of this world will have to plunk down around $4.4 million in order to blast off to the Galactic Suite Space Resort. In addition to three nights in orbit, jet-setters will also take part in an eight-week training course on a Caribbean island.

Reuters reported that 43 people have already made reservations for the space hotel, with over 200 more expressing interest in the project.

According to the Galactic Suite Web site, the three pillar project includes plans for a tropical spaceport with training facilities, a spaceship that holds four passengers and two pilot-astronauts, and the "space resort" itself.

It will take a day and a half to travel from Earth to the pod. A spokesperson for Galactic Suite Ltd told NewsLite.tv: "The flight will be one of the main highlights of the experience. Aboard the craft, space tourists will reach a speed of 28,000 km/h (17,398 miles/hour) in ten minutes after rocket ignition."

Once guests arrive at the space pod, they will be left to their own devices. No staff will live permanently in the space station, which will be much like spending a long weekend at a secluded mountain retreat.

Xavier Claramunt, Galactic Suite Ltd's CEO and former aerospace engineer believes that his space venture puts him on the brink of an emerging industry. "It's very normal to think that your children, possibly within 15 years, could spend a weekend in space," he told Reuters Television.

Others say the company's pie-in-the-sky ideas are a little unrealistic, questioning the time frame of the project as well as its financial sources.

Reuters reported that "Claramunt said an anonymous billionaire space enthusiast has granted $3 billion to finance the project."

Other space projects underway include Spaceport America, a space-airport being built in New Mexico, as well as Virgin Galactic, a space tour firm started by Richard Branson that will use the Spaceport America facilities. Around 300 people have already signed up for Branson's suborbital space trips, which will cost around $200,000 a ride.
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