Taking a vacation in space is not going to be cheap

Published 5:25 am Monday, July 19, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: Don Lee is taking a break from his column this week. The following is a piece that originally was published on Dec. 29, 2019:
If you would like to go on a space vacation in 2025, it would be prudent that you start saving for it now.
There are people designing and planning to have a habitable hotel in space by 2025.
The plan is to make it big enough to accommodate 450 people.
Knowing the reputations of large futuristic project, you can rest assured that it will be delayed and over budget.
The plan is to have this huge structure like a huge doughnut spinning in space by 2025.
It will have large portholes or windows so that you can watch our beautiful blue earth and the blackness of outer space.
In addition to tourists, it will have scientific experiments oncerned with outer space.
The engineer or lead architect is Tim Alatorre, who is also the treasurer of the sponsoring organization, the Gateway Foundation.
He says he was inspired to work on the space hotel by reading and watching science fiction stories over the last 50 years.
The designers believe that the construction is possible now.
It does not depend on future innovations, since the present technology is sufficient to complete the space hotel building.
The idea has been around for years, that is to have a spinning habitat to provide artificial gravity to simulate something similar to earth gravity.
Then there would not be the concern for bone and muscle problems like microgravity causes in the space station.
The structure will have a central section in which you can experience microgravity if you choose.
The structure is planned to have a gymnasium.
The estimated cost for a short vacation will be in excess of $1 million.
The Russians charge about $51 million to take an astronaut to the space station and back.
To see a picture of the planned structure, Google von Braun space hotel.
They claim that it was von Braun’s idea that is being carried out.
Although Werner von Braun worked for the Nazis in WWII, they believe he was a reluctant Nazi, realizing it was a way to develop technology.
Although the technology is known, there are many problems to overcome.
One of the major obstacles will be how to carry enough material to generate the atmosphere to maintain life.
Also, if this will be a habitable hotel, it will need a staff to maintain it.
Another problem will be the transport of people back and forth. That is not an easy task, as Boeing is discovering. Boeing’s astronaut-carrying rocket, after several years of development, is still having problems even getting the bugs worked out, evidenced by failures of an uncrewed rocket to achieve the necessary orbit.
NASA was extremely
fortunate in the Apollo project in getting to the moon.
It was achieved by the dedicated scientists, engineers and ordinary people working many years to do it.
As I have mentioned before, the majority of those people found themselves out of a job at the end of the Apollo program.
Hopefully, the Von Braun hotel will employ lots of people well into the future.

Don Lee, a pilot flying out of Lawrence County Airport since 1970, has been in charge of equipment and grounds maintenance for the last several years. He can be reached at eelnod22@gmail.com

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