This Hotel is Going to Infinity and Beyond
Images via News.mit.edu and Nasa.gov
Four Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate students have boldly built where no man has before: a hotel in space. NASA released a challenge in the fall of 2016 to “design a commercially enabled habitable module for use in low Earth orbit that would be extensible for future use as a Mars transit vehicle” and the team from MIT took home the win.
The Managed, Reconfigurable, In-space Nodal Assembly, or MARINA, was the idea from the students of MIT for a space hotel and new space station. The hotel would serve as the primary tenant for the space and NASA would serve as a co-anchor tenant for ten years. Despite the incredibly high projected building and operating cost of $360 million per year, this is actually a huge decrease from the operating costs for the International Space Station which costs $3 billion per year.
The hotel would be built similar to a flower with the petals being rooms. The hotel will feature eight rooms, a gym, a restaurant, and bar. All of the rooms will have windows facing Earth for a mesmerizing view. Only 16 guests will be accommodated at a time with four staff members including a doctor, chef/trainer, valet, and media expert who will maintain interlink with Earth.
The eight inflatable rooms connect to a shared space that houses the restaurant and gym. At the gym, guests can work out with the trainer while taking in views of Earth, the moon, or Mars. Meals can be eaten in the restaurant or in guests’ rooms. Each trip would last two full weeks, and are projected to cost $5 million, but the team behind the idea believes that cost would dip below $2 million after some time. The cost would include travel to and from the hotel. For guests who undergo proper training, a possible activity will be taking a space walk. The station and hotel would take almost eight years to complete, and 2025 is the roughly projected date that it might be able to open.
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