Space hotel to open in 2012 at a million euros a night

The Barcelona-based company behind the Galactic Suite Space Resort announced November 2 that they are on track to launch their first guests to their orbiting hotel in 2012.

A three-night stay -- featuring 15 sunrises (one every 80 minutes) -- will cost €3 million, which includes an eight-week training course on a tropical island.  

It will take 1.5 days of travel (also included in the price) on a six-person, 30,000 kilometer per hour rocket (18,600 miles per hour) to reach the unmanned pod/hotel, which will orbit 450 kilometers (280 miles) above Earth.

Galactic Suite said 43 possible future astronauts have already made reservations, with more than 200 others expressing an interest.

The company said an anonymous billionaire space enthusiast has granted more than €2 billion to finance the ambitious project.

The space tourism industry is only in its infancy but has its backers worldwide, such as Spaceport America in the state of New Mexico, the world's first commercial launching pad designed for space travel.

The world's largest spaceport broke ground June 19 and works with firms such as Lockheed Martin, UP Aerospace and Richard Branson's Virgin Group, under their Virgin Galactic subsidiary. Virgin Galactic has already collected its $200,000 (€135,000) shuttle fee from each of their first 100 passengers.

Website: www.galacticsuite.com

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