Are you ready for a luxury stay in space?
Ready for AmanSpace? Or the Four Seasons Low Earth Orbit? Valentina Sumini and her colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have just won the graduate division of a NASA competition to design a luxury hotel for use in space.
Sumini and the interdisciplinary MIT team designed the Managed, Reconfigurable, In-space Nodal Assembly (MARINA), a commercially owned and operated space station that contains a luxury hotel. The flower-like structure at the lower right of the rendering belongs to the hotel. Each of its eight petals is an inflatable private room, and the black strips on the bottoms of the petals are windows that face Earth. The complex, as pictured, can accommodate up to 16 guests and will have a staff of four: a valet, a doctor, a cook who doubles as a personal trainer, and a media expert.
The centre of the flower is the hotel’s cupola, a shared space with peerless views and a telescope to take it all in. Guests who undergo the proper training before they arrive can borrow spacesuits for an extraterrestrial stroll. The gym — a must-visit in space — will project images of the moon or Mars before you as you work out. They’ll also enjoy a view of Earth. There’s a restaurant on board, but guests can choose to dine in their rooms.
Whichever they go with, the views are unlike what they’ve ever seen (quite literally). Each trip lasts for two weeks and would initially cost around $US5 million ($A6.4 million) per person — a price that includes travel to and from the hotel. The MIT team expects costs to fall as low as $US2 million ($A2.5 million) per person over time.
It’ll take some time, but you can pen this out-of-this-world vacation in your calendar.