When their turn to leave this place finally comes around, thanks to today’s technological advancements; certain privileged people will be have the option of selecting up or down. Not only that, it won’t be the end of the world if they soon regret their choice of destination. In fact, they will be quite free to experience both venues before deciding on anything more permanent. Yes, vacations, both below and high above the earths surface, are about to be commonplace.
In September of this year more than 300 extremely wealthy pioneers gathered in the Mojave Desert. They are hoping to be the first fare paying astronauts on board the Virgin Galactic space program. There can be no doubt that giant steps towards making space a tourist destination are well and truly underway. Arranged by Sir Richard Branson, he confidently predicted that Galactic’s maiden commercial flight will be the catalyst that leads to residential hotels in space.
Astronauts, as opposed to passengers, have been paying deposits since 2005 in order to reserve a place; the total cost of each seat is $250, 000. Six astronauts and two pilots will be aboard each spacecraft. Sir Richard and his two children will make up half the astronaut quota during the historical maiden voyage. One flight per week has been scheduled during the first year of operation, which will be enough to cater for all those on the current waiting list. The plan is to gradually increase the number of flights until they become a daily operation. It is hoped that after ten years as many as 30,000 paying customers will have experienced the space flight. However, before embarking on the journey every astronaut must undergo three days of groundwork. Passing a medical check, becoming familiar with G force condition and taking part in social bonding, are all pre-flight provisos.
The actual flight, although only short in time, will live long in the memory. Spacesuit clad, and while being carried to a height of 50,000 feet by the Mother Ship, it is time to reflect on this exciting enormity. The point of craft release is reached in a wondrous anticipation that grips throughout the countdown. With a phenomenal surge of power the craft then surges effortlessly into full flight. Pinned to their chairs by the sheer force, they discover from the read out that they are travelling at 2,500 miles an hour. The acceleration was instantaneous, and with the speed of sound standing at a mere 768 mph, the watery eyes are most understandable. Charging through the limits of the atmosphere the blue of Earth’s sky gradually disappears until the windows of the craft reveal nothing except the complete darkness of space. It is a darkness that brings with it an inspirational silence. The crafts motor is switched off and the astronauts realise that they are no longer restricted by the strict rules of Earth’s gravity. For a few minutes, without effort and in total control, it is time to enjoy the ultimate freedom of movement by floating and spinning around the craft. Peering from the windows of the craft gives views of space and Earth that stretch a 1,000 miles in every direction. On a new high that is beyond words the astronauts return to their chairs. Powerful g force action is unavoidable when the craft is slowed down by the return to gravity. However, the reclining position ensures that the astronauts can readily absorb it. The drag of the feathered designed wings brings the craft back into atmosphere where the pilot announces that the glide home is underway. A few hours at the most, but definitely an experience that is out of this world.
So with the new exciting frontier of space up above, do those below have a temptation that could possibly match. It is a matter of choice, but life in a luxury under water hotel is no poor mans alternative. This is especially so when underwater means in a beautiful clear blue ocean that is swarming with natural and amazing marine life. The Poseidon Underwater Resort Fiji is being built with expectancies of becoming the most desired location to be found either on or off this world. Consisting of 72% acrylic glass the hotels main buildings will be found 40 feet down inside a 5,000 acre lagoon. The hotel guests will become a curiosity for sharks, dolphins, and countless shoals of tropical fish. On its completion there will be 25 incredibly sumptuous suites. A restaurant, bar, gym and spa, all with outstanding features will further add to the luxury. A nine hole golf course, splash pool and tennis courts are some of the more distinguished fitness facilities. While more relaxing options are found in the library/lounge and theater area.
There will also be a state of the art conference room, which can be easily become a wedding chapel. So as the Poseidon will be the world’s first seafloor resort, couples will have the most unique marriage experience. The hotel and all of its amenities are reached from a pier, with options of diving or using an elevator. All rooms will have a personal submarine allocated, which is ideal for travelling the outsides of the hotel and lagoon. The hotel also has a large luxury submersible that will take passengers down to the mysterious depths that lay beyond the lagoon. The 100 seater restaurant and plush cocktail bar will each have full marine views. Guests are even able to switch around the Plexiglas in their rooms so that it acts as a blind. With extensive corridors, it will in the main, be like any other five star luxury hotel. Although there will be no external traffic noise, and far less hustle and bustle. Then of course the views will be simply breathtaking; perhaps ‘under this world’ will become a common term of expressive amazement.
For anyone who is prepared to splash out, the Poseidon is currently accepting deposits of $25,000. It is a sum that will give priority guest status when the hotel becomes fully operational. The total cost for a couple is expected to start at $48,000 per week.