It’s a long time since men last went to the Moon; but there are now people living all the time in the Russian space station Mir. Today, space is just for astronauts: but soon ordinary people will be able to enjoy the experience…. if they can afford it.
When you’re 50, what sort of holiday will you want to take? If you’re under 30 today, perhaps you’ll be able to take a holiday in space!
A Japanese company, Shimizu, plans to open the first hotel in space within 15 years. They want to offer 3-day holidays in a space station, which will be bigger than the International Space Station. However, holidays in space will be very expensive! About 90,000 dollars for three days! Shimizu believe that there are enough people who will be ready to pay the price.
Other firms, in Japan and the USA, want to open hotels on the moon! Trips to the moon will be even more expensive The Japanese firm is quite serious; but they cannot yet start building their orbiting hotel.
First they will have to buy a commercial re-usable shuttle. Today there are no shuttles. The old American shuttles, such as Atlantis and Columbia, were very expensive to launch. They had to be launched into orbit with a big rocket which cannot be re-used. Tomorrow’s shuttles will take off and land on their own, probably like aeroplanes. They will therefore be much more economical.
Such shuttles do not yet exist; the Americans are working on them, but they will not be ready for several years.
However, there are other big difficulties too. How will ordinary people react to life in space? Today’s astronauts spend months training before going into space. They have to be in top form too.
Holidays in space will not be for tomorrow, that is certain; but they will come. That is virtually certain too!