Russian Company Plans to Open Orbital Space Hotel in 2016

By Jennifer Welsh | September 30, 2010 1:13 pm

spacehotelRussian company Orbital Technologies has announced its plans to build a commercial space station (to be named the commercial space station, if you can believe that), which would also serve as a “space-hotel” for visiting tourists. The company claims the venture will launch in 2016.

“Once launched and operational, the CSS will provide a unique destination for commercial, state and private spaceflight exploration missions,” said Sergey Kostenko, chief executive of Orbital Technologies. [Los Angeles Times]

The station will be able to host up to seven passengers in its homey capsule, free of extraneous scientific instruments and pesky astronauts and cosmonauts. It will be built by RSC Energia, the same company that builds the Soyuz passenger capsules and the Progress cargo ships used by the Russian space agency. It will follow the same orbit as the International Space Station, and will be able to dock with shuttles from around the world.

The CSS will be serviced by the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, as well other transportation systems available from other countries, enabled by a unified docking system that will allow any commercial crew and cargo capability developed in the Unites States, Europe and China. [Press Release]

The developers say this orbital nest will host space tourists, scientists from other countries and private industry who want to perform experiments in space, and overflow from the International Space Station during maintenance or emergencies. There’s no word yet on how much a single room at the orbital hotel would cost, but it’s a safe bet that every room would have a stellar view.

Orbital Technologies said they already have several customers under contract from different segments of industry and the scientific community, representing such areas as medical research and protein crystallization, materials processing, and the geographic imaging and remote sensing industry. “We also have proposals for the implementation of media projects,” said Kostenko. “And, of course, some parties are interested in short duration stays on the station for enjoyment.” [Press Release]

Before the Orbital Technologies announcement, an American company, Bigelow Aerospace, was the only name in the space hotel game. That company, which is owned by the founder of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain, claims to have already launched a “fully operational” prototype and says it’s working on additional, larger designs. Orbital Technologies seems to be hot on Bigelow’s tail–company executives claim to have already secured funding for the CSS project.

Kostenko said that the project has “found Russian and American investors, and we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars”, without elaborating. “At the moment, the project is already at the design stage,” he said. [AFP]

Related content:
80beats: Private Space Co. SpaceX Launches Its First Commercial Satellite
80beats: China’s “Heavenly Palace” Space Station Module Due to Launch in 2011
Bad Astronomy: Video of the Space Station zipping across the Sun
Bad Astronomy: EXTREMELY cool 3D Space Station video – taken from the ground!
Visual Science: Commuting Between Kazakhstan & the International Space Station

Image: Orbital Technologies

  • Jay

    I keep reading about this but i think it’s one of those things that won’t be around for another 10-20 years.

  • Eliza Strickland

    I share your skepticism, Jay. But I’d love to be proven wrong.

    — Eliza, DISCOVER online news editor

  • Alfredo

    As much as I’d like to see this by 2020 I don’t think it will be a reality anytime before 2030.

  • mba student

    My guess is the price tag will be $20 mil a trip

  • Sundance

    “Russian company Orbital Technologies has announced its plants to build a commercial space station”

    Wow. Those are pretty talented plants. So it’s a story about space tourism _and_ genetically modified crops? Or maybe Triffids… in… space!? :-)

    Or maybe it’s just a typo.

  • Eliza Strickland

    @ Sundance: Sorry for the typo, and thanks for the catch! Fixed it.

    — Eliza, DISCOVER online news editor

  • tracy mckee

    [Moderator’s note: This comment has been deleted because it was very off topic.]

  • cheryl

    Does anyone know what space launching location Orbital is likely to use? I’ve heard talk of both Wallops Island VA and Cape Canaveral, FL.


  • Jesse Denoia

    Love the blog, I’ve listened to borgore like 63 times today. Keep up the blog man!

  • Slava

    @ Cheryl : Maybe since the Company Orbital Technologies is Russian, it will use either Baikonur in Kazakhstan or Plesetsk in Karelia, Russia. Or maybe it will even launch it at the new space center that is being built in Siberia.

  • Felix Minkler

    Props for these kinds of a good article, maintain up your wonderful function.


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