Oct 9, 2017,  by Allianz Worldwide Partners Business Insights

NASA wants to build a luxury hotel in space

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is currently working on a futuristic space hotel project, in collaboration with a group of young graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Here is a new, unexpected prospect for the hotel industry : a team of five young researchers from the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) are exploring a futuristic idea to build a luxury hotel in space, in collaboration with NASA, according to the website Tom

 

Will we soon be holidaying on the International Space Station? 

 

The MIT graduates launched their ambitious project by entering it in one of the innovation competitions that are regularly organised by the United States' space agency, which they then won. Their proposal, entitled MARINA ("Managed, Reconfigurable, In-space Nodal Assembly"), would involve splitting the future version of the International Space Station in two : the first half would still be a research station, while the second would house a hotel for extremely wealthy guests. 

This luxury hotel would be made up of eight inflatable, reconfigurable modules with windows allowing the guests to see the Earth from space. It would house a minimum of eight bedrooms as well as a bar, a restaurant and a gym. A fortnight's stay would set guests back around five million dollars, according to its creators. By accepting these paying guests, the young researchers hope to reduce NASA's operational costs, which are currently very high.

 

A touristic prototype is already being studied 

 

Though MARINA is currently only in the research phase, another prototype for a space tourism structure is already being tested. Called the BEAM ("Bigelow Expandable Activity Module"), it was launched into space by SpaceX in 2016. This experimental inflatable house − weighing 1.4 tonnes and measuring, when inflated, 2 to 4 metres long by 2.36 to 3.23 metres high – is currently being tested by NASA for a total of two years. The astronauts are testing its airtightness, resistance, temperature and level of variation.  

If the BEAM passes the test phase, it will open up a whole new set of possibilities for space tourism. For the moment, the module only adds 15 square metres to the surface area of the International Space Station, but its inventors are already considering making a second, more spacious prototype the size of a bungalow.

 

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