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Out of this World: Space Hotel to Open its Doors in 2012

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and the budding space tourism industry)

New York, Aug 15, 2007

Earthlings seeking adventure beyond the stars may not have much longer to wait. The Galactic Suite—the first hotel in outer space—is expected to open its doors in 2012. Resembling a kind of molecular model structure, the three-bedroom hotel will consist of connected “pod” rooms that are fitted inside a rocket and carried into space. Forget eighty days, this space hotel will take guests around the world in eighty minutes.

The hotel will also be the most expensive in the universe, carrying a hefty $4 million price tag for a three-day holiday. During that time, guests clad in Velcro so as to maneuver in their zero-gravity accommodations will watch the sun rise fifteen times each day. In preparation for their stay, guests will also receive eight weeks of intensive training at a tropical island space camp.

Galactic Suite’s planners may want to look to ISO 17399: 2003, Space systems -- Man-systems integration, for guidance in helping the project to take off. Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the standard defines all generic requirements for manned space flight vehicles, habitat structures, and flight crew training, as well as all equipment that interfaces with flight crew members.

Space Travel: rules of the road
In 2002, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published rules of the road for travelers to the international space station.

The criteria were adopted by the space station’s Multilateral Coordination Board, which includes officials from NASA and the other space agencies supporting the sixteen nation space station effort.

The requirements outlined in the standard cover space system launch, re-entry, on-orbit and extraterrestrial environments, and can be applied to any manned space flight program. ISO 17399 also addresses the field of human factors relating to space habitats and the space environment. The standard was developed by ISO technical committee 20, Aircraft and space vehicles, and its subcommittee 14, Space systems and operations, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) serving as secretariat for both committees.

During their stay, Galactic Suite guests will take part in space experiments. ISO 14619:2003, Space systems -- Space experiments -- General requirements, specifies procedures for preparing and carrying out space experiments, as well as processing resulting data. Applicable to both manned and unmanned space systems except for exploratory rockets, the standard may be tailored to the specific needs of different kinds of experiments and their carrier space vehicles.

The project’s builders estimate that there are 40,000 people in the world who could afford a stay at the Galactic Suite. The number of actual takers remains to be seen.

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel