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Russian firm hopes to have luxury space hotel in orbit by 2016

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You know what they say: "another day, another hypothetical space hotel." Fans of the space tourism (mostly Lance Bass and a handful of gazillionaires) know that these things pop up every few years, so one can be a little skeptical about the plans recently announced by Russia-based Orbital Technologies to put a seven room guest house into orbit, where it would follow the same path as the International Space Station. While CEO Sergei Kostenko does mention things like well-appointed suites and food cooked up by celebrity chefs, it's not entirely clear that the firm has the funding to build the thing or even who will be doing the construction, although Energia (Russia's state-controlled spacecraft manufacturer) has been mooted as the project's general contractor. But this isn't merely a rich man's plaything -- as Kostenko points out, it could be used as a place for astronauts to flee to in case the ISS comes under alien attack (although he didn't say it in exactly those words).

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