Staying at a fancy hotel on a tropical beach doesn’t seem as much fun now since humans may soon be able to take a vacation into space and stay there at a hotel. Now that would be one amazing view. Since the Crew Dragon spacecraft had a successful launch and docking mission to the International Space Station (ISS) this month, SpaceX plans to send humans to different destinations in space that could include hotels.
SpaceX plans to send astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space on Crew Dragon this summer and following that, it will take up to four astronauts to the ISS in six contracted missions with NASA. And it doesn’t just end there. After those missions are complete, the spacecraft plans to travel to several other locations in space.
Since the spacecraft is a commercial vehicle that will include up to seven seats per flight, anyone who is willing to pay will be able to travel into space in the near future. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a press conference, “Once Dragon is in regular operation, I think we will seek commercial customers.”
And several companies are already in the process of creating plans for space hotels that Crew Dragon could visit. In 2016, Bigelow Aerospace in Nevada attached a prototype habitat to the ISS and they plan to elaborate even further by sending the first items into space in 2021 for their hotels.
The habitat that they’re developing is called B330 and its interior space will measure 330 cubic meters. It has enough room for up to six people and they can conduct scientific research while they’re there. They plan on sending two habitats into space in 2021 on Atlas V rockets from the United Launch Alliance (ULA). The company said in a 2018 statement, “These single structures that house humans on a permanent basis will be the largest, most complex structures ever known as stations for human use in space.”
And Bigelow Aerospace isn’t the only company planning to launch space hotels, as Axiom space and NanoRacks – both located in Texas – are also interested in developing space housing.
The cost of visiting space won’t come cheap, as seven space tourists have already gone to the ISS on the Russian Soyuz rocket and each of them paid around $20 million. But if money isn’t an option, it would certainly be the trip of a lifetime with a breathtaking view beyond anything we could imagine.