The Galactic Suite Project is a unique combination of commercialization and exploration. Directors Xavier Claramunt and Marsal Gifra have combined the expertise of three Spanish firms and one American company to bring this project to fruition. The Spanish firms are Equip XCL, Aerospace Research and Technology Center, and Global Business Technologies. The American firm, 4 Frontiers Corporation, brings with it the technology they are developing for the exploration of Mars. Headquarters of Galactic Suite is in Barcelona.
There are three phases which must be completed. First is the development of a spaceport on a yet-to-be-named Caribbean Island. The spaceport will feature a magnetic catapult to provide the initial supersonic boost to the spacecraft. There will be a runway for landing the spacecraft as the Space Shuttle does. Also on the island is a luxury hotel which will house the space travelers and their guests during the 18 week training period.
The spacecraft will be powered by hybrid rocket engines in two stages. After the catapult launch to supersonic speed, the rockets will accelerate the craft to its orbital speed of 18,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft will then maneuver to an orbital height of 300 miles, where the Galactic Suite module will be waiting. Crew on the ship will be four guests and two pilot/astronauts.
The Galactic Suite orbital hotel will have four modules joined to a central common area. Each “bedroom” module will feature a large window providing fantastic views of the earth and the stars. Floating in weightless conditions, the guests will enjoy 15 sunsets on each of the trip’s four days. At the end of the trip the crew and guests will board the spacecraft for the return to earth. The spacecraft will remain docked to the orbital hotel during the entire stay to provide an additional measure of safety and security.
The Galactic Suite Project’s initial goal of first flight in 2012 has been pushed back to 2015. The ownership continues to remain optimistic, though, and the bulk of the financing is already in place. A three billion euro initial investment by an undisclosed space enthusiast has the whole organization moving briskly toward success. Prices are expected to hold steady at four million dollars per guest, which includes the luxury accommodations at the spaceport and the training. The future of commercial space tourism has never looked brighter than it does today.