Sign up for the space hotel

Cathy Winston

It's the ultimate getaway for someone who's seen everything the world has to offer – a space hotel looking down on the Earth itself. And one Russian company is planning to put its guest house into orbit by 2016.

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You needn't give up your creature comforts just because there's no atmosphere, with Moscow-based Orbital Technologies apparently planning to employ celebrity chefs to cook the meals before they're sent into space.

There'd be room for up to seven passengers in the four cabins, although everyone would have to squeeze together into just 706 cubic feet, according to reports from Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

Although after catching your rocket to the hotel – a Soyuz shuttle, like those used to reach the International Space Station – there wouldn't be a lot to do except admire the view through the portholes.

So far there's no word on how much a weekend break into space might set you back, although it's aimed mainly at those with money to spare or companies who want to do research in space, so it's unlikely to be a bargain. Before now, anyone wanting to boldly venture into the universe has had to stay at the International Space Station.

If you can't wait until 2016, Virgin Galactic is set to take its first passengers into suborbital space in 18 months, according to Richard Branson, after SpaceshipTwo had its maiden flight in the California desert in March.

The fare for that trip starts at around £125,000 and there's already a waiting list of 330 people signed up for the voyage to the edge of space, and the chance to see the Earth from above or float in zero gravity.

And the Virgin boss is already considering building his own space hotels, which could be used as a base for shuttle flights over the moon.