Hotels orbiting earth 'just around the corner'
5 October 2006, VALENCIA — In about 20 years, orbital hotels will circle the Earth and people will make tourist jaunts into space, an space conference heard.
5 October 2006
VALENCIA — In about 20 years, orbital hotels will circle the Earth and people will make tourist jaunts into space, an space conference heard.
The prediction came form representatives of space agencies and companies attending the International Astronautics Conference in Valencia.
A dozen or so businessmen, industrialists, managers and scientists participating in the session entitled "Main space markets in the next 20 years and corporate focus for success" believe that space tourism and orbital hotels are "just around the corner".
Construction of a new generation of space shuttles and platforms will allow firms and authorities to organize tourist trips into orbit and even to build space hotels.
In the short term, space tourism will be within the financial reach of many, and trips to orbiting hotels will be made on "space buses," according to predictions for the sector.
The vice-president of the Canadian Space Agency, Virendra Jha, said that tourism will be one sector of the space market but not the only one.
Firms and space agencies are already planning how to participate in the orbital potential for global telecommunications services, television broadcasting, Earth observation, security, weather forecasting and monitoring and Internet services.
The executive president of France's Alcatel Space, Pascale Sourisse, said that "in about 20 years, we'll be able to talk about the possibility of space tourism. That is, people will have the chance to travel into space using a type of space 'bus' and stay at orbital hotels for reasonable charges".
More cautious was Francois Auque, executive president of French firm EADS Astrium, who said that despite the rapid advances the aerospace industry has experienced in the past few years, it was difficult to make predictions regarding the next two decades.
But Auque said he did not doubt that the space sector will continue to develop thanks to improvements in both telecommunications and equipment design that will lead to radical changes in the field in the coming years.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news