For use with Chapter 1
Race to Space – For Vacation
Posted March 5th, 2001
Fiction or Fact
1968, director Stanley Kubrick and writer Aurthur C. Clarke
revolutionized the science fiction world with the production
of the epic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This film explored
what the world would be like more than 30 years in the future
– at the beginning of the next millennium. Many people have
been asking how accurate the predictions of made by Kubrick
and Clarke were.
an early sequence of the film, we see a rocket ship approaching
a giant hotel in space – the Orbitor Hilton, complete with
a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. Today, while there are no giant
hotels orbiting the Earth, it may not be an unrealistic impossibility.
Space Island Group, led by pioneer Gene Meyers, is intent
on making this aspect of science fiction a reality. Meyers
makes a point to explain that the cost would be relatively
inexpensive. He estimates that once the program is in full
swing, a week’s stay in space would be roughly $10,000 a person.
this may seem like a steep price to some, it is definitely
realistic. After all, a week on a cruise ship can cost several
thousand dollars itself. Meyers is seeking corporate sponsors
from research companies and cruise ships. In fact, he estimates
that it may be possible to build and run a space resort for
approximately the same cost as it does to build and operate
a cruise ship.
got his start promoting his cause on the late-night Art Bell
radio program. Over the years, through vigorous marketing
on the Internet, Meyers eventually caught the eye of CNN and
other news organizations.
Room With a View
plans to realize his dream by using materials that are currently
being discarded in space. Much of his proposed space station
will be constructed of empty fuel tanks from the space shuttle.
The large orange tanks that contain most of the rocket’s propellant
are discarded in space after a launch. Meyer plans to assemble
15-20 of these tanks in a wheel formation and covert the empty
space of the used tanks to living quarters.
Meyers’ proposed space resort, the draw would be spending
a vacation at 1/3 your Earth weight with a spectacular view
unlike any other. Eventually, he wants to start making space
as much of a draw as any big city, complete with zero-gravity
the Space Island Group’s web site at http://www.spaceislandgroup.com.
How does Gene Meyers plan to design the space station. Develop
a design of your own for a resort in space. You may want to
build a model of it.