Spoiler alert: Scroll down to see more photos.
It’s like the world of the Jetsons that children of the ‘80s expected to be living in by now: cutting-edge space clothing, a robot concierge and even a weightless exercise room where you pull on elastic bands in time with lights and music.
Unfortunately, it’s not reality just yet, but designers determined to work on the future of space tourism are keeping the dream alive even during a global recession that has generally necessitated putting such things on the back burner.
Industrial Design Engineering students at the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Arts (RCA) in the U.K. have envisioned a smorgasbord of futuristic delights for the Space Hotel Project
, including toilets and showerheads designed with the challenges of space in mind and clothing that doesn’t need to be washed.
A robot concierge hovers around guests and records their space experience on a video camera, footholds allow them to anchor themselves to the floor and special sleeping bags attached to the wall keep them from floating around at night. Their space suits will even give them a pressure massage to help them acclimatize to weightlessness.
"From personal hygiene to sleeping in zero gravity, we encouraged the students to be completely creative with their solutions so that the living conditions in the world's most isolated hotel could be as comfortable as possible," space architecture expert Daniele Bedini, who teaches a course in Space Design at RCA, told Space.com
. He says that the space hotel could be built tomorrow using today’s existing structures and technologies.
The space hotel concept could theoretically attach to the international space station, and would include a rigid module similar to Europe's Columbus laboratory on the space station, as well as an inflatable sphere.
True, economic uncertainty and the possibility that NASA may end space shuttle flights by 2010 make this space hotel seem light years away from reality – but Bedini isn’t giving up. He’s pitching the concept to private companies and space agencies, so the stars may align to give this project life someday soon.
Below are screen grabs from a video the hotel in space: