Anyone can go, as long as they have the money.
As 2017 comes to an end, travelers are getting one step closer to vacationing in outer space, if they have $40 million to spend. The Russian space agency has plans to build a luxury hotel at the International Space Station (ISS), Popular Mechanics reports.
At 15.5-meters long (around 50-feet), the five-star hotel will feature four private sleeping cabins with personal hygiene facilities, Wi-Fi, and exercise equipment (confused as to how those last two are possible? Same). The suite will also have airplane-like windows, with nine-inch diameter portholes in private rooms and larger, 16-inch ones in the communal lounge area. Of course, vacationing in space entails more than looking out the window 250 miles above Earth: Travelers will also be able to take spacewalks guided by a professional cosmonaut. At minimum, the one-to-two-week trip costs $40 million per person, but if you choose to do a spacewalk, you’ll have to stay an entire month and pay $20 million more. Affordable!
If all goes according to plan (like if the engineers take the projected five years to build it), the hotel will be open for business by 2022. The Russian agency responsible for the project has estimated that by 2021, there will be at least 43,000 people around the world with a personal fortune of more than $30 million. It’s betting that if even a small percentage of this group chooses to spend their money on a trip to space, the hotel will be successful. But don’t expect it to be open forever: The ISS is scheduled to close in 2028, so the hotel will only be there for a maximum of six years.
Russia isn’t the only one trying to get into the space tourism game. Richard Branson has plans to bring travelers to space by the end of 2018, while Elon Musk is slowly trying to replace airplanes with rockets.