CSS Skywalker - First Step To SF Orbital Resorts

CSS Skywalker, an orbital hotel designed by Bigelow Aerospace, will consist of a 22x45 foot inflatable space habitat that can be easily configured for its guests. In the configuration shown below, the top level is set aside as a lounge; the middle level provides space for sleeping guests. The bottom level holds bathrooms and sleeping areas.


(From CSS Skywalker Orbital Resort Diagram)

Science fiction fans of course remember the more spacious lounge in the orbiting space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey; note the low curving ceiling (this space station was spun on its axis to provide artificial gravity for the guests).


(From 2001 Lounge)

CSS Skywalker guests will not be so fortunate; the inflatable space module will not offer artificial gravity services to guests. The idea for an inflatable space bubble probably belongs to writer Larry Niven.

Guests in Bigelow Aerospace's hotel will be kept safe with three layers of protection: a membrane to keep air in, a protective layer for the membrane and an eighteen-inch-thick shield consisting of alternating woven graphite composite and foam. The intent of this layer is to provide protection against orbiting debris in low earth orbit (see Electrodynamic Tethers: Clean Up Debris for more information - and a possible real-world solution). Ground-testing of Bigelows habitat skin has shown that it can stop impacts by 5/8-inch-diameter aluminum pellets fired at it at 6.4 kilometers a second, several times as fast as a rifle bullet. Guests thus pampered will be charged $1 million US per night for their stay at the most unique resort property in the solar system. Guests at Bigelow's terrestrial properties - Budget Suites - pay as little as $49 US per night. Location, location, location.


(From CSS Skywalker Shielding)

Speaking of making sure that as much money as possible stays up above the gravity well, another well-known science-fictional orbital resort is Freeside, a large space habitat that provides everything a tourist could want:

`Freeside,' Armitage said, touching the panel on the little Braun hologram projector. The image shivered into focus, nearly three meters from tip to tip. `Casinos here.' He reached into the skeletal representation and pointed. `Hotels, strata-title property, big shops along here.' His hand moved. `Blue areas are lakes.' He walked to one end of the model. `Big cigar. Narrows at the ends.'

`We can see that fine,' Molly said. `Mountain effect, as it narrows. Ground seems to get higher, more rocky, but it's an easy climb. Higher you climb, the lower the gravity. Sports up there. There's velodrome ring here.' He pointed.

`A what?' Case leaned forward.

`They race bicycles,' Molly said. `Low grav, high-traction tires, get up over a hundred kilos an hour.'
(From Freeside Orbital Resort)

Will CSS Skywalker be a success? Bigelow Aerospace is gambling at least $500 million on whether or not space tourism really takes off.


("My God, it's full of ... guests!" )

Read more about CSS Skywalker orbital resort.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/17/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1979

Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'- Robert Silverberg, 1969.

The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'- Gordon A. Giles, 1937.

Bigelow's Inflatable BEAM Module Ready For ISS In 2015
'The bubble had inflatable seats and an inflatable table...'- Larry Niven, 1994.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?

Do You Want A Tablet Computer? Or, Fad Over?
'He would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit'

First Person Video Flying Parrot Bebop Drone Video
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight...'

XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.