The space tourism company Galactic Suite already has 38 reservations made by tourists who, the company says, in 2012 will travel on board a magnetically levitated spacecraft to an orbiting luxury hotel, complete with a floating spa, pictured here. The trip, which costs 3 million Euros, will provide four days in orbit 450 kilometers above the earth and includes 18 weeks of training on a Caribbean island for the tourists to prepare for their spaceflight. The Galactic Suite Spaceport is being built on the island and features the first maglev rocket where the spacecraft will accelerate to speeds up to 1,000 km/h (620 mph) in 10 seconds and lift off from a vertical runway.
After reaching approximately the speed of sound, the spaceship will detach from its maglev carrier and accelerator, and will ascend to orbit using rocket or air-breathing engines. The maglev accelerator will then brake to a stop and return to its starting point for the next launch. The launch track will be about 3 kilometers long.
According to Xavier Claramunt and Marsal Gifra, founders of Galactic Suite, â€œMaglev launch assist technology will enable space tourists to travel to our space resorts in orbit on a commercial basis. The most expensive part of any space travel to low-Earth orbit is the first few seconds – getting off the ground. This technology is cost competitive with other forms of space transportation, environmentally friendly and inherently safeâ€.
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The stay at the hotel will “offer a mixed programme of reflection and exercise to seize the unique physical conditions encountered in space,” said Claramunt.
One of the most innovative experiences that tourists can experience is the bathroom in zero gravity. Galactic Suite has developed the space spa. Inside the spa, tourists can float with 20 liters of water bubbles. According to Galactic Suite materials, “The tourist, already trained to avoid the effects of water in a state of weightlessness, can play with the bubble dividing it into thousands of bubbles in a never-ending game. In addition, the transparent sphere may be shared with other guests.”
Galactic Suite is a private space tourism company, founded in Barcelona in 2006. The company hopes to make space tourism available to the general public and “will combine an intensive program of training astronauts to relax with a programme of activities on a tropical island as a process preparation to space travel.”
Source: Galactic Suite press release