Russia's Planning a Luxury Hotel on Its International Space Station
Not to be outdone by the space tourism plans in the works from moguls like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, Russia's space agency announced that plans are in motion to outfit its International Space Station with a 51-foot module that housed luxe, comfortable accommodations containing four private sleeping quarters that would cost visitors between $40 million and $60 million per trip.
Each private room would also have a 9" porthole, and the module's lounge area would have a 16" window. Aside from the standard amenities like access fitness equipment, personal bathroom and WiFi, the stay will also include a spacewalk alongside professional ISS astronauts.
Russia's prime space station contractor, RKK Energia actually already beat us to the space tourism game- in the '90s, they rented the Mir space station to a private firm and even flew millionaires to the ISS. The trips have been on hold in recent years, as partners of the space station had booked all available seats on the Soyuz spacecraft, which is currently the only way up to the ISS. Russia plans to make the Soyuz available again soon in order to compete with Musk and Branson's inevitable space taxis. They're also working on putting people on the moon forever, which could be a lot worse than the Siberian steppes in winter.
Following a model used by Branson's Virgin Galactic, RKK Energia hopes to book at least 12 passengers willing to pay $4 million upfront so RKK can start developing the module. The passengers would then pay $12.6 million over the two years leading up to the flight, with a final payment of $10.8 million due at liftoff.
That's not all the Ruskies are planning in space, either–Russia is training for space warfare, possibly to combat the U.S. military. They're also claiming to be working on a new battle tank that will run on Mars, not to mention teaching a gunslinging robot to pilot a spacecraft. If none of that raises an eyebrow, maybe the killer AI robots they're developing or their bomb-resistant "Terminator" suit are more your speed.
We thought the space race was over, but tell that to the Russians.