Students come out with swanky space hotel concept

August 27th, 2009 - 5:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 27 (ANI): A team of college students has come out with a concept for a swanky space hotel, which would have a robot concierge, a redesigned showerhead, a full-sensory exercise wall, among other luxuries.

According to a report by Fox News, the concept has been designed by master’s degree students in a program hosted by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art in the UK.

“From personal hygiene to sleeping in zero gravity, we encouraged the students to be completely creative with their solutions so that the living conditions in the world’s most isolated hotel could be as comfortable as possible,” said Daniele Bedini, a space architecture expert who has worked for NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) on moon and Mars base designs.

The new space hotel concept includes a rigid module similar to Europe’s Columbus laboratory on the space station, as well as an inflatable sphere developed by Thales Alenia Space in Italy.

Bedini said that the space hotel could be built tomorrow with today’s existing structures and technologies.

He compared the process to luxury airlines buying an airplane structure and personalizing the interior.

Space hygiene has always proved a challenge, but space hotel designers tackled everything from smaller vacuum-powered toilets to new clothing to keep odors down.

“There are no washing machines or tumble dryers in space so we had to design clothes that enabled the skin to breathe, which reduces sweating, smells and the need for clothes to be washed,” said Katrin Baumgarten, a student in the Innovation Design Engineering program at Imperial College London.

“We achieved this by using natural fibers that breathe and we also made small chest flaps, which let the air in to keep the body cool and comfortable,” Baumgarten added.

A redesigned showerhead could also help tackle the washing problem in space by using many small holes to squirt small amounts of water and soap, and another set of holes to suck up water for recycling.

Water only comes out of the holes in contact with the skin, and so avoids leaving liquid globules floating around.

An “AirMaid” cycle would operate during the night period on the space hotel to suck any offending particles out of the air, just like the space station’s air conditioning unit operates.

Staying fit and healthy on a space vacation need not resemble a grim daily ritual.

Student designers suggested an exercise wall and a routine where space tourists would pull on elastic bands in time with lights and music. (ANI)

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