October 31 News Items

First Hotel in Space On Schedule, To Open in 2012 (Source: IBN Live)
The company behind plans to open the first hotel in space says they are still on target to accept the first paying guests in 2012. The Barcelona-based architects of Galactic Suite say the space hotel will be the most expensive in the galaxy, costing €3 million, or $4.5 million, for a three-night stay. During that time guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 90 minutes.

Galactic Suite's CEO said the project will put them at the forefront of an infant industry with a huge future ahead of it. Company Director Xavier Claramunt believes that within a few years space travel will become a common occurrence. (10/31)

Rocketeers Take Lead in $1 Million Competition (Source: MSNBC)
Masten Space Systems' Xoie rocket prototype has apparently taken the lead in a nail-biting race for a million-dollar prize from NASA. The Masten team's "try, try again" effort at California's Mojave Air and Space Port was aimed at winning the top prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge's Level 2 contest. Although the contest's outcome hasn't been announced, it looks as if Friday's flight was good enough to best Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace, which qualified for the prize with its Scorpius rocket last month.

A dark-horse team in the race, California-based Unreasonable Rocket, was still doing flights over the weekend, but had to abort its Level 1 attempt after an in-flight malfunction. That team is extremely unlikely to outdo Masten Space Systems. Masten's performance appears to ensure that all the prizes in the three-year-old, $2 million Lunar Lander Challenge program will be given away. (10/31)

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