My friend Misuzu Onuki was in town over the weekend for the NewSpace 2010 conference. She’s doing some very interesting work in a sometimes overlooked area of space travel that will likely become increasingly important as more people venture out into the cosmos.
The JAXA-funded Quality of Life in Space project is looking at the essential elements that can make all the difference between a good stay in space and a bad one. How comfortable are the accommodations? What amusements exist? How good is the food? What does a traveler smell? Are amenities offered?
For those interested in hooking up in zero G, you may be in luck.
Space Tourism Society Vice President Sam Coniglio has developed a prototype of the snuggle tunnel. This collapsible zero gravity love nest is designed to hook onto the bulkhead of a zero G habitat near a window. A couple could climb in and snuggle about while watching the Earth pass by.
Coniglio said that he hopes the test the prototype snuggle tunnel on a zero gravity plane in the near future with two student volunteers.
There is an interesting piece excerpted below about an upcoming space fashion design competition in New York co-sponsored by Rocketplane Global and SpaceFashion.org. The prizes? A contract to design fashion for millionauts and a flight into space. The question: will the winner be able to collect on that?
Air & Space Magazine has a piece on efforts to make sure that space tourists are well dressed in everything from futuristic pressure suits to wedding dresses. Rocketplane’s Misuzu Onuki and Orbital Outfitters’ Rick Tumlinson are featured. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic has hired superstar designer Philippe Starck.