Galactic Suite Design

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Galactic Suite Design
Private
Predecessor Galactic Suite Limited
Founded 2007
Founder Xavier Claramunt
Headquarters Barcelona, Spain
Website www.galacticsuite.com

Galactic Suite Design is an aerospace design company based in Barcelona, Spain. The company develops concepts, design and interiors of habitats and vehicles.[1] The project that first brought the company into the public eye was the Galactic Suite Space Resort, which intends to develop a private small space station at LEO, the orbital segment of a space tourism experience, which will also include intensive training on a tropical island.[2]

Galactic Suite Design is also the lead company in the consortium of companies fielding the Barcelona Moon Team, a competitor for the Google Lunar X Prize, with a Moon launch scheduled for 2014.[3][4]

Galactic Suite Space Resort[edit]

The Galactic Suite Space Resort was a 2007 concept proposal for an orbital space station.

History[edit]

The Galactic Suite Space Resort space station began as a hobby for Xavier Claramunt, architect and director of Galactic Suite Design.[2] The station reportedly entered development after an unnamed space enthusiast invested US$3 billion to build it. An unnamed American company with the goal of colonising Mars assisted in some of the early stages of the project, and discussions with additional private investors from Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates have taken place.[5][6]

2006 illustration of an early design for the Galactic Suite Space Resort alongside a Space Shuttle.

Early design concepts called for a central hub with a dozen modules radiating outwards, providing an indefinite number of bedrooms for several customers at a time. Claramunt said that while it would be a challenge to design a bathroom that works in microgravity, showers might be taken in a spa room with bubbles of floating water. The issue of moving around in space would be solved by having guests wear suits of Velcro for sticking to the module walls, similar to its use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The station was to conceivably orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, providing 16 day-and-night cycles every 24 hours.[7][8]

The company stated in 2010 that a three-day stay was projected to cost US$4 million per customer. Company studies found that 40,000 people worldwide were capable of affording such a stay.[7] This complete space tourism experience would also notionally include the design of a "James Bond-style astronaut training" center and spaceport which will be based in the Caribbean. The spaceport would also house a new launch system built with safety and the environment in mind.[9][needs update]

In 2008, Claramunt stated that construction of the station would begin in October of that year, and that European company EADS Astrium would be the contractor in charge of building the modules and other equipment.[10] However, Astrium denied any involvement in the project.[10] In November 2010, the company announced that a first phase would bring into orbit a single modified ATV module for a cost of €400 million, while a second phase would increase the total number of modules up to four in a cross configuration.[11][12][needs update]

Criticism[edit]

Some experts, including Thomas Bouvet (International Astronautical Federation), Mark Homnick (4Frontiers) and Juan de Dalmau (Centro Tecnológico para la Industria Aeronáutica y del Espacio) expressed skepticism about the project, raising concerns that Galactic Suite would be unable to meet the 2012 goal because no hardware had been built and tested, and that no rocket system was available to transport guests to the station. The stated investment to the company is an issue since the identity of the investor has not been revealed.[10] The investment might fall short of covering all the project's needs; for example, the suborbital shuttle proposed by EADS Astrium would cost €1 billion, and the conversion of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle into a human-rated transport system would cost around €2 billion.[13]

Barcelona Moon Team[edit]

Galactic Suite Design is the lead company in a consortium of companies fielding the Barcelona Moon Team in the Google Lunar X Prize competition.[3] GSD does so through a filial company, Galactic Suite Moon Race. BMT is the official candidate to the GLXP.[14] The team is a multidisciplinary joint venture bringing together Spanish entrepreneurial, industrial and academic capabilities. The team also includes the Centre of Aerospace Technology in Barcelona (CTAE), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) or the international engineering advisory firm Altran.[15] BMT wants to promote a widening involvement of private initiative in the development of space technology and industry, also including sectors such as exploration and tourism.[14]

The Barcelona Moon Team GXLP mission is scheduled to launch aboard a Chinese Long March 2C in June 2015<.[3][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (29 June 2009). "Una empresa española diseña una aeronave hinchable para subir hasta 70 kilómetros". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Staff (10 August 2007). "Spanish venture aims to build space hotel". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Paur, Jason (9 August 2012). "China to Launch Spanish Team's Lunar X PRIZE Robot". Wired. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Coxworth, Ben (4 May 2010). "Barcelona Moon team enters Lunar X PRIZE". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Andrea (11 August 2007). "Space Hotel Slated to Open in 2012". Space.com. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  6. ^ Kaur, Simmi (14 August 2007). "Hotell i særklasse". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Harter, Pascale (10 August 2007). "Fly me to the moon: space hotel sees 2012 opening". Reuters. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "GS Spaceresort". Galactic Suite Design. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Kanal, Christopher. "Galactic Suite Space Hotel". Designbuild-network.com. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c Mediavilla, Daniel (19 September 2008). "2012, una quimera en el espacio". Público (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Galactic Suite usará tecnología de EADS-Astrium en los módulos del hotel espacial". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 16 November 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Tecnología europea para el futuro hotel espacial". El Mundo (in Spanish). 16 November 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Amos, Jonathan (28 May 2008). "Berlin unveils 'crewed spaceship'". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Barcelona Moon Team". Google Lunar X Prize. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Altran joins the Barcelona Moon Team". Google Lunar X Prize. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Galactic Suite shifts launch date for the Barcelona Moon Team lunar mission to June 2015". 
  17. ^ Indo Asian News Service (17 August 2012). "Chinese firm to send Spanish robot to moon". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 

External links[edit]