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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Orbital Retirement Hotel  
  A retirement home placed in low earth orbit.  

Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations. By the very end of the Second Millenium there were rudimentary retirement hotels a few hundred kilometers up...

There were those who worried that this was an imprudent investment of the limited wealth of the planet... It was foolhardy, they said, to permit an elite class to emigrate to space...

Hardly anyone anticipated the principal outcome, the transfer of a vivid planetary perspective to those who could do the most good. After some years, there were few nationalists left in Earth orbit.

From Contact, by Carl Sagan.
Published by Not known in 1985
Additional resources -

Thanks to Adi for suggesting this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Contact
  More Ideas and Technology by Carl Sagan
  Tech news articles related to Contact
  Tech news articles related to works by Carl Sagan

Orbital Retirement Hotel-related news articles:
  - Galactic Suites - LEO at $4 Million Per 3 Day Stay
  - Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel

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