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Hilton Studies Feasibility of Space Hotel 101

Posted by Roblimo
from the honeymoon-in-orbit dept.
Roman writes "Here's an article about Hilton looking into a space hotel. It says they want it to look like the depiction of a Hilton in 2001 and it mentions the 'romantic possibilities of zero gravity.' I'd love to be the first on my block to steal a robe from that baby!" I've been hearing this dream for most of my life. Sure hope it comes true for some of you under-thirties someday, but I've given up hope of seeing space hotels in *my* lifetime.
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Hilton Studies Feasibility of Space Hotel

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  • But how much Velcro is needed on a Zero-G robe?
  • I've given up hope of seeing space hotels in *my* lifetime.

    I wonder why you say this. I'm in my mid-late '30's and have every intention of visiting 'space' before I pass away. We need to remember that in the last generation that lifespans have effectively been extended ~8-10% or more. Who's to say that that isn't going to continue?

    I for one am looking forward to living a long, long time barring any significant eco/nuclear/alien-induced catastrophe.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hope we can seriously talk about sex here, without flamebait and the like. But sex in space is sure to be damn awkward. In fact, in contrast to the Hilton's dreamy, idealistic Press release, I'd imagine the reality of the situation would be extremely funny. As most astronauts can tell you, you basically have to re-learn many of your muscle reflexes for operating in zero-g. Good sexual techniques in 1G are difficult enough to learn- and other worst case scenarios in space could get pretty darn nasty. So I think any hope of first time couples going up to enjoy total freedom in love is more of a PR pipe dream for Hilton than anything else. Living in space isn't something to do for a cheap thrill. It's going to require creating an entirely new "culture of physical manner" that takes advantage of the new possibilities and deals with some of the problems.
  • AFAIK, prolonged stay in zero g enviroments requires daily exercise to keep walking muscles etc etc fit..so that we can walk when we get back to earth. I suppose the hotel staff would have to work in shifts, be paid extra and have loads of life insurance.
    And i'm still waiting for the space vehicle that makes trips to and fro to such a hotel viable.
    PS: Isn't this gonna cost a heck of alot for even an overnight stay? and would they charge you by hours, days ?
  • by Skip (516)
    In the film 2001:aSO I'm sure I saw a Hilton logo in the space station as Heywood Floyd meets the Russian scientists...

    But we haven't reached any of the achievements in 2001:aSO so far (the moon is an empty rock for instance) so I doubt we'll see spave hotels in 2001
    Skip
    --------------------
    "To create an apple pie from scratch, you first must create the universe." -Carl Sagan flifson@csdotuctdotacdotza

  • But what about the dangers of space? Our Astro-men have erected the safety barrier around our solar system, bless their all-American hearts, but what have they done about Space Lightning or the Moon-plague?

    I won't catch a hot air balloon to the Space Hotel until they can guarantee me that breathing that imported Martial air is as safe as apple pie. (not the communist freeze-dried kind)

  • by SEWilco (27983) on Wednesday September 22, 1999 @07:03PM (#1665997) Journal
    Here are some more space tourism links for your 2001 holiday planning:
  • by Lucius Lucanius (61758) on Wednesday September 22, 1999 @07:07PM (#1665998)
    2014 -- Construction of Hilton Orbiter Hotel begins,
    by assembling and converting the giant Shuttle tanks
    which had previously been allowed to fall back to
    Earth.

    http://www.gsreport.com/articles/art000072.html

    There was a news story some months ago about he being involved in a plan with Hilton. Can't find any URLs, but apparently he has had ties to them for a while, hence the 2001 reference.

    It's funny when you look at some of the logos in 2001. Pan-Am was the mega airline back then, but it went bankrupt. AT & T (the logo on the space phone) is still trotting along. Can't remember other merchandising tie-ins.

    Apparently, unlike today's movies which get paid to include product placement, rumor has it that Kubrick had to *pay* the corporations to include their logos and add a respectable touch.

    L.
  • Sure lifespan has been increasing at that 10% rate for the last dicennia, but how about quality of life? You have to be fit for space travel. How 'bout hospitals over there?

    Wait a sec! A space home for the elderly!

    Ivo

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... could be hazardous to your health in zero G. The jizz leaves your penis at 120MPH and will richochet around the ship at high speeds, possibly putting someone's eye out.
  • Yes, but will the view be any good? Who is this Anonymous Coward guy, and where does he get the time to post all those messages? ;-)
  • by irongull (9022) on Wednesday September 22, 1999 @07:26PM (#1666002)
    Oh yeah, sex in space should be great. If you're in to elastic harnesses and inflatable tubes. There's been a supposed NASA document about sex in zero g floating around the web for a while now - click here [idiom.com]. It seems to be a reasonable discussion of the topic, but of course its unverified. True or not, its pretty damn funny.
  • On the face of things, it sounds like a good idea. I know I'd sure like to spend a week or two up in space. But here are a few reasons why I believe it will never happen:
    1) Safety: astronauts have to go through intensive training on how to handle themselves in zero-G. The average tourist can't afford to take off enough time from work to learn how to behave in zero-G.
    2) Cost: Only the extremely rich will be able to afford it. And among the ones who can afford it, only a few will actually go, and even fewer will enjoy it.
    3) References to "romantic possibilities" aside, sex in zero-G would just not be all that feasible or even desirable -- Newton's three laws of motion come to mind (hint: intertia and equal and opposite reactions).
  • Interesting, I was just reading a fun book called How Do You Go To The Bathroom In Space? [amazon.com]

    This is a nonfiction book, written by an astronaut, describing all the minutiae of living on a space station. It deals with showering, shaving, sleeping, etc. There's a detailed explanation, with diagrams, of the space toilet. Nominally a kid's book, it doesn't say anything about sex. But it shows one of the station-beds, which looks something like a combination sleeping-bag and hammock. I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult to use in the obvious way.

    - Seth Finkelstein

  • Oh for fuck's sake. Just get over it: you're gonna die of old age, within 50 years or so. Quite frankly the concept of 40,000 immortal Slashdot readers terrifies me anyway.
  • >In the film 2001:aSO I'm sure I saw a Hilton logo

    I guess thats why the intro said...

    ...the depiction of a Hilton in 2001
  • I must admit .. I have been thinking about this a while .. and something that keeps cropping up if the effect zero-G has on the body ( depending on the lenght of time in zero-G ) and the question that has been hounding me .. is this ..

    How long will it take for people that have been to space hotels to start suing the space hotels for possible defects due to time spent in zero-G ... and are the hotels really leable for it ?

    mind the spelling ... I'm not english but nature ;P

    bain
  • I have a 2 year old tape of a show I recorded on Discovery channel, that talks about how some people already have reservations for a hotel that should be up and running by 2010... I think the cost was like $100,000 for reservations, heh

    #----------------------------
    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • I remember reading a quote by the founder (or owner /me is a bit sketchy on the details) of Hilton who said that if the cost of getting payload would drop under x per kilo/lbs (don't remember the price, something like $10) they would build a space hotel. This was something like 10-15 years ago.

    Message on our company Intranet:
    "You have a sticker in your private area"
  • Hah. I'd score that funny but for a few reasons:

    I'm not moderating

    There are probably going to be AT LEAST 40,000 AC slashdotters alone alive in 75 years or so.

    Chances are with my lifestyle I'll die of old age are quite remote.

  • Tank designers know the answer to this one. You put your shielding in two layers: An outer thin layer and an inner more substantial one.

    Express crud hits the outside layer, vapourises on impact, and your thicker shielding absorbs or dissapates the fragments of the outer shield and the remains of the crud.

    The same pronciple is used to defend against anti-tank projectiles, y'see.

    Vik :v)
  • This story is funny given the comments in "Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator" about "Mr Hilton" wanting to put a space hotel up in space to rival the US's official program.
    IIRC, Lancelot R. Gillgrass, President at the time was not happy :)
  • I think there's a more serious problem they need to overcome before they can build a hotel in space.

    Without gravity to hold the end of the toilet roll down, the little folded point the maids carefully create would undo itself. They'll need to develop some sort of tissue origami retaining clip to hold it in place, or find another way to fold the end that will stay put in zero-g. If they have to retrain all the maids for a new folding method, costs could become prohibitative.

    Perhaps the toilet roll manufacturers could develop rolls with V shaped perforations so the shape is done for you?
  • Very gross, but funny nonetheless. There is still air resistance to take into consideration though. Lack of gravity doesn't mean lack of air ;)
  • by wjwlsn (94460) on Wednesday September 22, 1999 @08:37PM (#1666018) Journal
    So what would you do in a space hotel? I assume that you'd probably want to spin the thing to provide at least some "gravity" for tourists. Like many other posters here, I see the space station from 2001 in my head when I think of a space hotel. That type of design would afford opportunities for providing near-normal gravity for eating, sleeping, etc. on the outer regions of the station. Inner regions would have lower equivalent g's, with the center of the station being at essentially zero-g. Okay, assume you have a variety of gravitational environments to play with. Here's some ideas:
    • zero-g handball
    • low-g basketball
    • low-g ballet/acrobatic exhibitions
    • Would it be possible to fly in low-g by strapping fake wings to your arms and just flapping?
    • multi-g roller-coaster!

    Anybody else got some ideas?

    ----

  • Interesting. Still, imagine that in the future, people go on vacation to earth? Maybe people are living in a weightless enviroment, and exercise 8 hours a day, while working and living their lives. How do you think that being on Earth would feel? Heavy? Possibly. Unusual? Certainly. People would have the same problems (ie. how to make love, how to move around).
  • Hehe.. lets just hope the vermiscous K-nids don't show up ;)
  • Most of those are already in ACC's book "3001: The Final Odyssey" - though the source of low gravity is different.
  • Well, this address by President Hilton [panix.com] discusses the company's looking at space...in 1967. No $/kilo mentioned.
  • Then how does a Space Shuttle stay up and survive in space? They will protect them of course.
  • Several of those are mentioned in the links mentioned above, such as SpaceFuture's Sport Page [spacefuture.com]. Table tennis is an interesting idea. Elsewhere on their Activities page they also suggest playing with water.

    Imagine a zero-G water park...fountain jets, water balls floating around, coriolis fountains, sheets of water sweeping across broadside, people surfing a rotating fountain...and oversize foot fins for flapping at the air...

  • Well, the concept has seen some discussion and even a bit of desing work. Current rumors are that the Zero Gee Club has been established, and also that NASA has worked overtime to squelch rumors that two members of the doomed CHALLENGER crew were planning to initiate the society.

    That being said, what WOULD make for a successful honeymoon suite in a zero-g environment ????

    The first addition would be, for lack of better words, an Un-Chastity belt. Picture a belt, coated with fuzzy velcro, to which elastic straps can be attached to as the lovers would see fit.

    A second suggestion might be a "love room": a small, spherical room with softly-padded walls, and a plethora of soft handgrips and foot anchors. This, of course, would be for couples and small groups. For larger groups, a long, padded tube might be more suitable, or a large room with loose webbing strung throughout. Brisk, warm airflow through either room is a necessity, if for no other reason than to clear bodily fluids from the atmosphere.

    Mind you, this is from L-5/Space Settlement stuff I read in the late 1970's, perhaps there are some more technologically advanced ways to proceed. . .

  • Velcro, tethers, and hand holds, would seem a good starting point for space. Doesn't matter, it won't happen in our lifetime realistically. Money is better spent on earth (on the less fortunate) than to develop a vacation spot in space.
  • Come back in 100 years, it might be practical. The cost per lb to orbit is way too high, and the prices/lb to orbit will only fall by a factor of 10 with the next Gen shuttle. For everybody else, it'll take a bigger fall in prices for a per lb to orbit price which we can all afford. Oh, by the way; by then, prices will have gone up. Remember those $5000 cars in the 60s and 70s; now they are $25000 avg. So, by no means will the price fall for the per lb to orbit.

    Not to be one to throw water on the parade, but if you just want to wax eloquent on the possibilites on space sex...go ahead...but the whole idea is a Hilton pipe dream.

  • Hmm, when I saw the movie in 1964 (on the 1st night of release); I believe it was called "2001, A Space Oddessy"...just to be correct that is.
  • Let's suppose we have a nice space hotel. What can you do there? Maybe look at the view and spend your time trying to figure out how to eat, drink and visit the bathroom. After a while you just float there bored to death trying not to hit other people's sweat, spits and other garbage.

    So let's eliminate the zero-G-problems by spinning the thing around to create some kind of gravity. Well, we miss the view and spend a holiday at a dull tube with even less to do.

    But hey! If they sell tax-free booze, at least the Finns will line up ;-)

  • Brisk, warm airflow through either room is a necessity, if for no other reason than to clear bodily fluids from the atmosphere.

    You must be joking. Having some other guy's wad blown into my face just while I'm trying to get it on* isn't MY idea of an aphrodisiac.

    *Or at any other time either, either.
    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Hilton envisage a ring-shaped construction. It shouldn't be a problem to set it rotating like the one in the film, giving the inhabitants a sensation of weight, somewhere between 0.17g and 0.5g probably.

    Then there won't be a problem if the staff and guests spend most of their time in the ring. If the station has low gravity then staff will only be able to spend limited time there or they surely will sue for health problems later on.
    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • The jizz leaves your penis at 120MPH and will richochet around the ship at high speeds...

    Perhaps you could find something to catch it....

    ...like a partner?



    Buckets,

    pompomtom
  • Well, guess what, romance may be fun, but what would happen to a developing fetus in space? Tadpoles tend to have legs on their heads and arms on their backs and internal organs.. well.. not internal. Scientists have concluded that there is no reason to believe a human fetus will fare any better. I think this may have also been tried with creatures such as mice and other small furries, but I'm not sure.
  • I don't think that something like this would be practicle unless we had a way to make some sort of gravity. I mean I don't think I nice sleep in a sack strapped to the wall is my idea of what a stay at the Hilton should be. You can only look at the Earth for so long without getting bored. Look Ma I can see my house from here!!! That and well space food kinda sux. Going to the bathroom in space is something that I don't think is either convenient or quick.

    Now that is at today's space technology. Sometime I guess there will be something better. I think their best bet would be to shoot for a hotel on the Moon. Might not be as far fetched at the other. At least there is some gravity on the moon. Dodging someones sweat drops would not be a daily chore on the moon.

  • Donning Dr. Ruth persona... Considering the schizoid way we Westerners tend to deal with sexual issues in general, I wonder with what kind of juvenile derision any kind of "Microgravity Kama Sutra" will be greeted. OTOH, Playboy and a host of mainstream women's magazines seem to have a good handle on discussing sex matters in a frank, clear adult manner, so once the subject goes from hypothetical to practical, that's where I'd look for advice first.

  • Hmm. (Putting concerned hat on and going to chalkboard)

    IF this theory is valid, and the male ejaculate would in fact become a dangerous projectile should said ejaculate be discharged into the AIR, and given the variables present making it dangerous, wouldn't that mean that ejaculation into a standard issue female be akin to inserting an UZI into her most private and personal of areas and pulling the trigger?

    (Now set to spend the rest of the day drawing things on whiteboard that will probably draw the curiousity of ALL passers-by to his office...)

    Blinded with science,
    DougMan
  • Umm, you mean 1968, right? Or can I borrow your time machine? :)

  • by BrianH (13460) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @04:31AM (#1666041)
    I seem to recall that on the Apollo missions, and to a lesser extent the Gemini missions, NASA discovered a potentially serious problem with cosmic rays. Many of the early astronauts were reporting seeing "white streaks" when they closed their eyes along with bright bursts of color and light. After some investigation, NASA discovered that the light was from cosmic rays (?) passing through the eyeballs of the astronauts and momentarily becoming visible. With further investigation, NASA discovered microscopic craters and divots in the helmets and equipment of the early capsules. It seemed that while the cosmic rays were passing through the spacecraft and the astronauts, they were interacting with the matter they came into contact with.

    NASA's next concern was obvious. What health risks are involved here? The answer was revealed in experiments conducted during the latter part of the Apollo program and it wasn't very comforting. When the cosmic rays came into contact with normal cellular tissue, they caused immediate decay (ruptured cell walls, DNA damage, etc.) Even more frightening were the neurological effects. When a cosmic ray hit a neuron, the neuron died. While cellular damage can heal itself, a dead neuron is dead forever. A full battery of tests on the astronauts showed slight decreases in memory, reflexes, high motor functions, and even personality changes. The effects weren't serious, but they were there.

    For obvious reasons none of this has ever been given much media coverage. By the latter part of the Apollo program, public support for manned space travel was already waning and a public admission that the astronauts were in danger was the last thing NASA wanted to deal with. The problem here is, those astronauts were up for what? Maybe two weeks? What kind of exposure would a staff on a permanent space station see? In order to keep a station like this in orbit for any appreciable amount of time, its orbit would have to be well outside of the Earths sphere of protection (the Mercury astronauts didn't have a problem because they didn't get high enough). What kind of liablility suits would a hotel be facing by exposing employees to this kind of danger? Hell, what kind of suits would they face from customers?!?! Would you take a vacation in space if you knew that brain damage might result?

    Disclaimer: I am working solely from memory here, and it's been many years since I read the NASA papers on this. I also haven't seen any recent data on this topic from the shuttle or Mir, just the original Apollo findings. If I improperly stated any points don't flame me, correct me :)
  • ... could be hazardous to your health in zero G. The jizz leaves your penis at 120MPH and will richochet around the ship at high speeds, possibly putting someone's eye out.

    Hmm, sounds like a nice throwaway for my X-rated science fiction short story.

    Assuming an average male mass of 75 kg, and an average ejaculatory volume of 5 cc for arguments sake, translating into 5 gm assuming the density is about equal to water, sent forth at 50 m/s, we have a semen drive capable of 3 mm/s delta-v per orgasm.

    Hmm, pretty slow, better work on getting Ron Jeremy in orbit.

    George
  • > 1) Safety: astronauts have to go through intensive training on how to handle themselves in
    > zero-G. The average tourist can't afford to take off enough time from work to learn how to
    > behave in zero-G.

    Astronauts are more like aircraft pilots and flight crews, and of course have to have intensive training. But I don't see that a tourist would need any more training than a tourist flying on a 747. At most, perhaps, would be a medical certificate.

    Most of a space hotel would spin and have pseudo-gravity anyway. The non-spinning parts would have to be designed with tourists in mind, but that's just SMOE (small matter of engineering. :-)

    > 2) Cost: Only the extremely rich will be able to afford it. And among the ones who can afford
    > it, only a few will actually go, and even fewer will enjoy it.

    Currently true, NASA does seem to have a vested interest in keeping costs high. DC/X, Roton, and other projects are experiments in significantly reducing the cost of access to space.

    Perhaps _you_ wouldn't enjoy space travel, but I bet a significant fraction of /. readers would. _There's_ an idea for a /. poll, "How much would you pay for a vacation in space? $100,000? $50,000? $25,000 $10,000? $5,000? $1,000? Not interested."

    > 3) References to "romantic possibilities" aside, sex in zero-G would just not be all that
    > feasible or even desirable -- Newton's three laws of motion come to mind (hint: intertia and
    > equal and opposite reactions).

    I think a flat declaration like that is very premature, humans are _very_ adaptable creatures. I think any conclusions will have to wait pending, ummm, experimental data.
  • What a decadent waste. The energy used to carry out recreational space travel and 'space hotels' would be better left for future generations to heat their homes and cook their food. If/when man comes up with renewable sources of energy, then maybe we should look into things like this.

    Unfortunately, big money will beat out common sense on this one, no doubt.
  • What a decadent waste. The energy used to carry out recreational space travel and 'space hotels' would be better left for future generations to heat their homes and cook their food. If/when man comes up with renewable sources of energy, then maybe we should look into things like this. This really isn't all that big a deal. The world is in no danger of running out of energy... at most, we will eventually in the somewhat far future have to switch from oil to other sources of energy. The reason why we haven't don this yet is that there really hasn't been a good enough reason to justify the economic costs.

    It might be somewhat decadent... but not unusually so. And I don't see this as being any more wasteful then, say, a concorde flight that has to fight drag all day.

  • Have the Russians ever had a couple on Mir for some time? Given that the Russians have the lead in accommodating people in space for the longest periods of time, I would be very surprised to hear that they have tried nothing about sex in space. They have done extensive experimentation on almost all aspects of life in space, this must have definitely been tested by the Russians.

    It is difficult to believe that nothing ever happened, if they had ever had a man and a woman on Mir for something like 90 days.

    With all due respect for Russian technology, given the pathetic shape of Mir after the squeeze in their space program funding; it should have been difficult to do it on Mir without breaking anything onboard. Perhaps it was the reason for the main computer crashing often.
  • What a banal comment, and you sometimes wonder of the age or IQ of slashdotters who make these gaffs. What I wonder is how fast that bb is orbiting in your head.

    watch out eyes, over the nose, look out mouth..there it goes!!
  • Get a freakin' clue. Think about what you are saying here. Currently the way to put vehicles into space is with rocket technology. These rockets, like the Space Shuttles, do not even use petroleum based propelants. These type of rocket engines are Hydrogen/Oxygen engines. The buring of this type of fuel only creates water, and does not deplete any natural resources.

    I think that this is a great idea. The only way to really push space travel and exploration is to make it profitable. This means involve the commercial sector. This type of commercial endeavor can only serve to help accelerate the development of technologies which will allow space travel to become common place.

    Please get off your environmental soapbox and figure out what you are talking about. If you want to make waves for something talk to your local city council about mass transit, or be an activist and by a ZEV. The space program is not going to dry up the earths natural resources, so get real.
  • Radiation isn't that big a deal when one's under the protection of the Van Allen Belts. It's only in orbits above them that the flashes really start to show up. (ie, during Apollo and High Altitude Gemini.)

    Interesting fact: Gemini was originally designed to be able to be sent around the moon. The capability was never used because it may have sapped funding from Apollo.

    Micrometeorites are a danger, but shielding can be expected to protect against them. A transhabish design, the most likely one for the future, contains layers of kevlar for just this purpose.

  • Just a reminder to everyone here. Hotels created using shuttle external tanks are never going to be created. The wet-tank concept has many flaws, ranging from a lack of shielding to a debris cloud created by tank insulation to the ~1000 lbs payload penalty to the difficulty of major construction projects in space.

    A better idea is something based on the transhab, an inflatable large structure that can be customized beforehand. (By inflatable, think of inflating a baloon with 1ft thick kevlar walls.)

    Of course, while NASA might be convinced to launch this thing with the shuttle, it probably won't want to supply/ferry passengers to this station. So, the earliest pre-dependcy will be private commercial passenger launch capability to a reasonably high orbit. Right now, we don't have that capability. Now, eventually we will get passenger launch, but I would't start seriously considering creating a hotel until that is proven.

  • Hehe.. lets just hope the vermiscous K-nids don't show up ;)

    You beat me to it, you bas**rd! =)

  • Considering that the cosmonauts onboard Mir have routinely stayed aboard for six months at a time, as well as a few U.S. personnel who were there, I would think that anything this serious would have already become fairly obvious if it were true. Granted, staying in space wouldn't be the most healthy lifestyle at this point in time, but inducing artificial gravity on a station would help a great deal with muscle atrophy.

    I think that it would be appropriate to rotate staff every six months. Not bring on an entirely new crew, but rotate some staff back to earth with each new load of guests coming leaving. I don't know of too many people who'd want to stay on the station for six months at a time anyways, other than Slashdotters, provided Hilton gave them a T1 line to the station. *grin*

    How would one connect the internet to a space station? Beam microwaves at a satellite?
  • Can't find a link for it, but this morning's Wall Street Journal has an article about the space hotel. It says, in part:
    Now it turns out the plan, while not a hoax, isn't exactly on the radar screens of Hilton's chairman, Barron Hilton, and it's chief executive, Stephen Bollenbach.

    Marc Grossman, head of Hilton's investor and public relations...suggests that space buffs shouldn't anticipate a Hilton in space - or even any financial commitment to reasearching one. But "apparently," he adds, the previously scheduled symposium will take place.

    Turns out, the stories are about a symposium to be held about exploring the possibility of a space hotel...entirely funded and run by Hilton's marketing department (for whom the woman in the original story, Jeannie Datz, works for).

    If anyone can find a link to the story, or if you have a copy of the Wall Street Journal, it's on Page B1, bottom left.

    Sorry if I burst any bubbles here!

  • Not to burst any bubbles, but who's going to address the growing issue of space-junk? Not to mention high velocity particles, cosmic rays and solar wind? I doubt that Hilton, or any other commercial venture is willing to build sufficent shielding and or "clean up" orbital debris. Solar flares are a big issue. If they address those issues then I think they have a shot.
  • Ummm...how do you think they get the separated hydrogen fuel in the first place? (Ignoring the solid rocket boosters for the sake of argument.) The free hydrogen has to be separated. This process takes quite a bit of energy, more energy than burning the fuel returns. (See 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.) That energy most likely comes from some fossil source.

    It's worth debating whether it's wasteful to use that energy on space travel. Especially on luxury space travel there are reasonable arguments on both sides. I personally am all for it. But I don't dismiss the arguments against out of hand.
  • This article brings the posibility of an zero-gravity sex chamber. The last frontier in sexual relations.
  • Why on earth (no pun intended) would tourists want to spend a vacation without gravity? Sure, we geeks would enjoy it, and most people would probably enjoy the novelty of it very briefly, but do they really think ridiculously wealthy travelers are going to want to suck their dinner through a straw and sleep in a harness?

    If they're serious about this they're going to have to provide artificial gravity. The kind of people who could afford to do this are the kind of people who can't stand to stay in less than a 5-star hotel - they're not interested in being uncomfortable.
  • by jfunk (33224)
    There were IBM logos in the movie as well. Some of the computers shown on the moon were IBM.
  • David Brin wrote a short story about this (it was a research station, not a hotel), in the story "Tank Farm Dynamo". I read it in his collection River of Time [amazon.com]

    Of course, all the places I've looked say that it's out of print. I found my not-for-sale-in-the-US copy at a local Borders (in Michigan -- not sure how they got it).

  • After the movie, rampant speculation ensued as to whether HAL was a hidden reference to IBM (just substitute the preceeding letters). Clarke denied it, saying HAL stood for Heuristic ALgorithmic (sounds like a stretch). He even poked fun at the controversy in the novel 2010, noting how the rumor spread and people still didn't believe it stood for "heuristic.."

    Wired had a good cover story on HAL's b'day in 1997. I think there was also a symposium at UIUC, where he was "invented by Dr. Chandra".

    anyway, enough rambling.
  • I'm certain I've see this before - oh yeah! Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, by Roald Dahl. They went up to a Hilton space hotel.

    BEWARE THE VICIOUS KNIDS!!!!!!

    --
    grappler
  • Ya big pussy. So much for brave exploration. You just sit on this festering ball of ooze until you die from (a) microbial infection, (b) the planet gets hit by a comet, or (c) hordes of uneducated morons mow you down screaming about the sky falling and Y2K and such crap.

    You tell me what's more dangerous!

  • If they built a capsule in the center of the wheel, all those fools who wanna play in zero-g can go there; the gravity would be much lower in teh middle of the wheel. While they're being pummeled by others' fluids, I'll be looting their space-hotel rooms.

    ----

  • If you are really interested in knowing, there's a porno called The Uranus Project 2 which has the world's first porno shot in zero-g (using a plane a la Apollo 13)
  • The char[]=HAL;while(char x != '\0'){ printf("%c", x+1); } thing was widely speculated upon.

    Another interesting coincidence though, is with the "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" sequence and the Pink Floyd song "Echoes" from the Meddle album.

    Start the song just as the title comes up, and the changes in the song coincide with the changes in the movie. Then the song and movie ends at exactly the same time.

    When there are flyovers of alien terrain there are wind and squealing sounds that seem incredibly appropriate.

    Interesting lyric: "I am you and you are me." Later on Dave Bowman looks at himself.

    It was a lot of fun to watch 5 times over. It'd be interesting to have a DVD with that as an alternate soundtrack.

    Maybe I should get a DVD-RAM drive
  • When I was 13 i though "y2k will be future, cars will be changed by starships then people like me will live on moon" and something like that. They're late.
  • Environmentalists that stand in the way of this one will be shooting themselves in the foot. What do environmentalists want? Renewable energy! One of the best zero impact renewable energy sources happens to be orbital solar collectors. Limitless energy, no pollution, no adverse impacts from its use. So why aren't we using them? Because it costs too much. The pricetag on hauling the parts into orbit is so astronomically high that nobody takes it seriously.

    There's a cool old saying that applies here: "Necessity is the mother of invention". By bringing commercial interests into the picture, there will be plenty of people trying to find cheaper ways to get up there. The same technology that will make it cheaper for Joe Tourist to visit the Astro Ritz will also slash the pricetag on your enviro-friendly power station.

    Besides, would you rather have them building hotels in space, or on the edge of some delicate tropical beach?
  • Just imagine how this would lend itself towards death by aspiration as well. Better wear a mask when you go to Six Flags Over L5
  • ...who's going to address the growing issue of space-junk?

    Space Sanitation Local 322

  • by Zurk (37028)
    i doubt this proposal is going to go anywhere...chemical rockets just dont have any lifting power and cost too much for the kind of payloads involved. unless we start using nuclear rockets or nuclear based fuel systems it isnt going to go anywhere at all. BTW, laser or microwave plasma propulsion is getting somewhere, with the ability to use ground based nuke reactors for power (& safety) with the vehicle using the plasma generated as lift wihtout actually carrying any internal fuel...much safer than pulse nuke based systems.
  • http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/health/noonan/hu mans_in_space/ This page has extensive information about research of this very topic. Aparrently, at one time NASA did have a "Sex in Space" page...

  • Pan-Am is back. It went bankrupt after Locherbie (sp?) and some guy bought the name and logo, Pretty Neet.
  • >>Instant drowning. Once the water sphere surrounded you, I don't think you'd be able to get out.

    > That's why you'd need flippers to move around (like in Niven's The Integral Trees)... you'd have to build up speed to break the surface tension of the water bubble...

    Either that or a series of jets around one's waist to build up sufficient rotation to fling the water off.
  • Have you ever experimented with a big mass of water in a bathtub or pool? We're much stronger than surface tension. Even if you only tread water against 1G, imagine how quickly that force will move you when you're pushing against the inertia of a big ball of water. Dive into the big bubble in the middle of the water park and swim to the outside when you need to take a breath.

    Unfortunately you won't be able to idly float on your back without gravity. On the other hand, there are creative ways to move around the surface of the sphere. But doing the butterfly stroke is hard without doing the proper leg kick to keep you in the water.

  • > But sex in space is sure to be damn awkward.

    As far as I know, in the midst of the "space-race" the russians had a man-and-wife up in their space-station (correctly timed & all!) to try and have the "first baby conceived in space".

    They tried all sorts of stuff, but making love in 0G was too much trouble, and they never even got close to meeting the objective of a conceived baby, if you catch my drift.....


    Roger.

  • I think the real problem would be how you breathe, when the air is full of big and small drops of water.

    BTW, a fountain is pretty hard to imagine in zero g.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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