An orbiting hotel for space tourists being designed by Russian company Orbital Technologies will also host experiments for the pharmaceutical industry, the company’s CEO Sergei Kostenko said.
Orbital Technologies announced in 2010 plans to launch the first module of a hotel in space by 2016. The four-room structure will be built by Russian state-owned rocket and space corporation Energia and will accommodate seven space tourists.
“We are also working on a project that involves growing proteins in zero-gravity conditions,” Kostenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
He said the International Space Station (ISS) was less suitable for this purpose because it has high internal micro gravitation which affects the crystal matrix.
“We are planning to achieve purer results,” the expert said.
Kostenko, who is also the head of the Russian office of the U.S.-based Space Adventures company, said the construction of privately-owned space ships and orbital hotels in the future would cut the price for a space tourist trip from $40-60 million to $15 million.
“We are expecting prices in this range [$15 mln] for the round trip and the stay at a space hotel for 5-7 days,” he said.
Space Adventures, the only company currently providing opportunities for space tourism, has sent seven space tourists to the ISS so far.
The latest tourist, the Canadian founder of the Cirque du Soleil entertainment company Guy Laliberte, paid about $40 million for his 12-day stay on board the orbital station in October 2009.