If the trend-setting Hiltons are involved, the Next Big Thing can't be far. In this case, it's not record albums, reality shows or fragrance lines they're planning, but something more along the lines of what they're traditionally known for: a hotel. In this case, a hotel in space.
"British Airways are also said to want to become involved in the project. Under consideration is a survey of BA and Hilton customers asking them if they would like to take a holiday in space. They would be asked if they wanted it to be entirely gravity free and if they would like large windows to view the Earth. Would they like to take a spacewalk is another possible question."
A NASA report claims that space tourism is a growth industry, to the tune of billions of dollars per year -- someday. On Monday, Iranian-American entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari was only the fourth civilian to pay for the privilege of bunking on less-than-luxurious Mir, but companies like Hilton Hotels say we're only 15-20 years away from full-service, orbiting hotels, which could be visited for as little as $10k-$50k (don't forget to ask for the AAA discount). Compare that with upwards of $20 million that the first handful of official space tourists have ponied up. Here's hoping they got a mint on their pillow.