An inflatable space hotel has been launched into space, according to a BBC news report. This is an experimental space craft, and is actually just a testing module. This craft will test out the possibility of a real hotel in outer space, just outside of Earth. The name of the test space hotel test, is called the Genesis II.
The Genesis II was launched by the Bigelow Aerospace company. This is a private company created by a hotel entrepreneur who is an American. Robert Bigelow wants to use this idea to have a fully constructed space station operational by the year 2015. The technology being used is called inflatable technology.
The object is smaller when launched, but expands once it gets into space. This inflatable technology allows for less space to be used inside of the vehicle flown into space. Non inflatable objects take up much more space in a launch vehicle. This technology also costs less to use.
The Genesis II test hotel was sent on a Russian space rocket. The Genesis II separated from the Russian rocket about 14 minutes after the launch. Air pressure and communication with the new space object have so far been successful. Robert has put $500 million dollars into this project. He hopes to take people into space, who will pay a fee to go to the space hotel.
According to Wikipedia, the Genesis II is an experimental space habitat prototype. This test is being done to be used for future modules. These future modules will have the paying customers in them.
The Genesis II may not have people inside of it. But there are items in the test spacecraft from paying customers. Inside of the test object are personal items and pictures, as part of the hotel entrepreneurs space plan. The personal items will be photographed, inside of the Genesis II, while in space.
For each person who wanted to send personal items into space, they had to pay a $295 fee. For the purchase of this slot, a person could put photos and small momentos onto the Genesis II. The items will be photographed and be able to be viewed on the Bigelow Aerospace website.
There is also a money back guarantee reported with this service. If a paying customer can’t see the pictures within 90 days from the start of the mission, the customer can get their money back.
The Genesis II is about 14.4 feet long and 5.25 feel in diameter. After the launch, when the inflatable technology is activated, the Genesis II then expands to 8.3 feet in diameter and has a total volume of 11.5 cubic meters. Some kind of biological experiment is taking place inside of the object, and a game is being tested inside the Genesis II as well. The game is called “space bingo”.
Towards the later half of 2007, Bigelow plans to launch another space craft called Galaxy. This is another craft that will test more future possibilities of a human space hotel.