Weekends in orbit are latest holiday offers
Tuesday 16 November 1999
Within three years this may mean a day trip to low earth orbit or, by 2017, at a holiday resort resembling a cross between a theme park and a cruise ship where space tourists can stay for as long as they like.
These and other such plans for holidaying 200 miles above the Earth's surface were unveiled yesterday at the World Travel Market, the tourism trade show at Earls Court exhibition centre, in west London. Guests must travel lightly and be prepared for space sickness, but highlights include the opportunity for weightless sex in one of the honeymoon suites and some awe-inspiring holiday snaps.
Howard Wolff, vice-president of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WAT&G), a US architectural firm specialising in leisure resorts which has designed a 100-room orbiting hotel, said: "An increasing number of people are seeking some kind of transformative experience. They are looking for more than a vacation on the beach and want something more to show for it than just a tan. And what could be a more life-transforming experience than seeing our planet from 200 miles up?"
Mr Wolff is confident that there is a market for space tourism and, in the US at least, it is an idea that appears to have taken off. More than 93,000 people have put their name down on PanAm's waiting list for flights to the moon while 15 million visitors went to land-based space attractions last year. In a survey of 1,500 north Americans, 34 per cent said they would be interested in a two-week trip aboard a space shuttle.
WAT&G's orbiting resort would use recycled external fuel tanks salvaged from future space shuttle launches. There will be a viewing deck on board with computer images to help guests identify which parts of the Earth they are looking at. Guests will be served food grown hydroponically on board and can keep fit by playing ball games in zero gravity.
"It's like developing a new, vast and wonderful frontier," Mr Wolff said. "But the point will be to strike a balance between creating an out- of-this world experience and providing some creature comforts that travellers have come to expect from other destination resorts."
Podium, page 4
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford seriously injured after his vintage light aircraft crash lands near Los Angeles, report claims
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...