A space pod company of Las Vegas, named Bigelow Aerospace intends to send an inflatable space hotel into moon's orbit. As per the company's plans, the floating space hotel, which would be travelling around our natural satellite will have accommodations for astronauts as well as common citizen space travellers.
According to a Business Insider report, in 2016 the Bigelow Aerospace had joined hands with NASA in order to attach an inflatable, soft-shell demo pod, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module or BEAM, onto the International Space Station. Now, the company has announced that within the next five years, i.e. by 2022, an even bigger inflatable pod, which they are calling the B330 "lunar depot", could be orbiting the moon.
The moon hotel is no doubt a much more ambitious plan for the company than attaching the add-ons to ISS. It is supposed to stand alone and in size, it's about one-third of that of the ISS. Bigelow Aerospace has suggested that the pod would be able to accommodate roughly six people, and the company is billing it as a hub for "significant lunar business development," states the report.
Creating an accommodation in space for the astronomers or common space travelers appears as a logical next step for the founder of the company, Robert Bigelow, who also owns the Budget Suites of America hotel chain and has been working on forming expandable space modules since 1999, as per Business Insider.
The joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance has also partnered up with Bigelow to launch the habitat into space to orbit the moon.
Through a couple of tweets recently Bigelow seemed to suggest that he would need funding from NASA in order to completely and successfully execute his plan of the space hotel. According to The Washington Post, the entire project is likely to cost near about $2.3 billion.
"Re. Lunar Depot: Capital has been flowing from both companies and will continue," Bigelow tweeted. "NASA & this country will need to have investment also to pay for the benefits," he added.
Re. Lunar Depot: Capital has been flowing from both companies and will continue.— Robert Bigelow (@RobertTBigelow) October 17, 2017
Reportedly, as the US has pledged to send humans to Mars by 2033, B330 could house the researchers and astronauts on their way to the Red Planet, Bigelow and United Launch Alliance had stated during an announcement last year.