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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Vacation at a Space Hotel (1982)

Vacation at a Space Hotel (1982)

The The Kids' Whole Future Catalog really is a treasure trove of 1980's futurism. Today we have a letter from Jenny, writing her friend Susan about the amazing space hotel she's visiting in the year 2002. Having graduated high school in the year 2002, I'm a little disappointed that my graduation ceremony wasn't held at a space hotel, complete with space pool and the accompanying physics that go along with that.

April 16, 2002

Dear Susan,

We arrived at the space hotel yesterday, and the first thing I did was try out the swimming pool. It really is as much fun as everyone says, but the low gravity takes getting used to. Everything happens more slowly than usual - you feel as though you're part of a movie that's being show in slow motion. When you jump off the diving board, you can easily do two or three somersaults before you hit the water - and when you do go in, you leave a hole which takes a few seconds to fill up. The pool doesn't look anything like the ones on Earth. It's like an enormous barrel with water lining the inside. The barrel rotates very slowly, creating just enough force to keep the water pushed up against the sides. When you're in the pool, you can see water curving uphill and people swimming upside down overhead. As if that isn't strange enough, you can also see people floating through the air in the zero-g area at the center of the barrel. To get there, all you have to do is jump high off the diving board and flap your arms like wings. If you hold a paddle in each hand, it's easier to steer. I want to tell you about all the other things I've done, but there isn't time. I'll write again tomorrow.

Love, Jenny

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