Will our grandchildren spend their vacations on the moon, or their honeymoons in a hotel orbiting Mars? A few dreamers at the International Tourism Fair say space trips for average travelers could come sooner than we think.
A company at the fair displayed a model of a space hotel for space tourists that it hopes to build one day. However, the model shows that travelers won't find as much comfort floating in space as they would in a normal hotel on Earth.
The space hotel, designed for use on the International Space Station, is comprised of four tiny rooms with berths for couples, a common room and a very simple bathroom. As for food, space tourists would also have to eat dried foods like astronauts instead of delicious meals prepared by a chef.
"This artificial colony on the space station is incredibly lacking compared to the quality of life on Earth," said German astronaut Ulf Merbold. "There are much more comfortable places than a shuttle to spend a honeymoon ... You cannot kiss the bride with a space-suit helmet on."
But lack of comfort isn't the only problem. There are safety and price concerns too.
Dieter Isakeit of the European Space Agency pointed out that "the space station is not like a plane in which the cockpit is separate from the passengers' cabin. It is as if people in a hospital could walk in and out of the operating room during a heart operation."
But despite the lack of comfort, there are still many people willing to pay a lot of money to travel to space. If this hotel becomes a reality, a one-week stay will cost about US$2 million (NT$65 million). (AFP)
1. Compared with hotels on Earth, space hotels are ...
2. The food at the space hotel ...
a. is prepared by a chef.
b. is like the food at a regular hotel.
c. is the same food astronauts eat.
3. What might be a safety concern for the space hotel?
a. There might not be enough air for all the people.
b. The crew and guests aren't separated.
c. Guests will be able to walk into the operating room.
4. It will cost US$2 million to stay for ...
a. one night.
b. one week.
c. two weeks.