With all the buzz and excitement about the recent dawn of personal space flight, a Russian firm has this week announced the next step in the story: an orbiting hotel in space. The small capsule detailed was revealed at a conference in Moscow, with a scheduled opening (at 217 miles altitude!) by 2016. Though spartan when it comes to frills, the hotel “will not remind you of the International Space Station,” says Sergei Kostenko, chief executive of its builder Orbital Technologies. “A hotel should be comfortable inside, and it will be possible to look at the Earth through large portholes.” The capsule will be serviced in orbit by the long running and reliable Soyuz launch system, now the only operating passenger carrying space vehicle.
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