[Image: Outside the space hotel… in space. You can see the Earth’s curvature in the lower right-hand corner. Courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace].
The space hotel is back in the news.
According to the BBC, an “experimental spacecraft designed to test the viability of a hotel in space has been successfully sent into orbit” by a private company called Bigelow Aerospace.
The “inflatable and flexible core of the spacecraft expands to form a bigger structure after launch.” Which is helpful, because Bigelow’s ultimate goal is “to build a full-scale space hotel, dubbed Nautilus, which will link a series of inflatable modules together like a string of sausages.”
However, two distracting bits of news then enter the story…
First, the BBC reports that “the company has sent a collection of pictures and other memorabilia from fee-paying customers keen to see their personal possessions photographed in space.” And, second, we learn that the company “also hopes to activate a space-based bingo game to be played by people back on Earth.”
1) Why would you want your personal possessions to be photographed in space? Here’s my desk lamp… in space. Here are my dinner plates. Here is my couch.
2a) Does “space-based bingo” somehow augment one’s experience of the game? I suppose it would. How does it work? Would there actually be an astronaut up there calling out numbers? And would you have to get up there in order to collect your prize?
2b) What about space-based Trivial Pursuit? An unnamed man, or woman, in orbit over the Earth’s surface starts asking a series of difficult questions about history, science, politics, and the arts. The start of the game is never announced; the questions are broadcast on an AM radio station; you never know if you’ve won.