Orbiting space pods could be the final frontier of hotel rooms

Guest Contributor

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In the future, humans could stay in inflatable hotels that orbit the Earth.

If you’ve got millions to spare, you could finally make that reservation in outer space sometime after 2021. Robert Bigelow, the hotel mogul who has made his name and fortune through the hotel chain Budget Suites of America has just announced his tech group’s plan to run two commercial space stations.

Bigelow Aerospace, a general contracting, research and development company based in Las Vegas, introduced on 20 February a sub-group of Bigelow Aerospace called Bigelow Space Operations (BSO).

The group is dedicated to marketing and operating Bigelow Aerospace’s upcoming space pods, which could be used for scientific and military applications. But this is only the beginning. In the long haul, the pods will eventually be used for space tourism with the creation of ‘space hotels’.

BSO is in charge of conducting in-depth market research to gauge the demand for this new technology.

Robert Bigelow
Robert Bigelow, founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace

The B330-1 and B330-2

The B330-1 and B330-2 are 16.7-metre commercial habitats that connect together as shown in the topmost photo. They are inflatable and each could accommodate up to six people at a time. When linked together, the units are nearly one-third of the volume of the International Space Station.

It might be small for a hotel, but not a lot of guests are expected to come with its booking’s astronomical price range.

BSO is planning to sell these capsules to countries who are in need of space laboratories similar to the ISS. This accessibility to low-Earth orbit could help foreign nations to jumpstart their own space programs at a much lower cost.

A new manufacturing facility for these stations would have to be built in Florida, Alabama, or other locations suitable for a space launch.

B330
Two B330’s will launch by 2021

The final frontier

The launch of the space pods is set for 2021.

They will operate 250 miles above Earth and offer multi-million US-dollar reservations. It would cater to government entities, private researchers, scientists, and regular folks looking to tick travelling to outer space off their bucket list.

A statement from BSO said: “These single structures that house humans on a permanent basis will be the largest, most complex structures ever known as stations for human use in space.”

To see a demonstration of this new technology, watch the video below:

 

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