Imagine waking up in a hotel room overlooking the moon. You eat breakfast in the hotel lobby, from which you can see Earth — a blue marble in the distance — and a space station compound in a geostationary position relative to both. You drink your coffee and orange juice and go about your morning as usual — checking your emails or posting something to your favorite social media network. you sit down and check your email or post something on a social media network. Later in the “day,” you’ll likely meet others staying at this space hotel, each filling various societal roles: telecommunications, education and training, engineering, even law enforcement and conflict prevention. The possibilities for business and commerce in space are endless.

Now, consider that at present we’ve never had more than 13 human beings in space at the same time. Nevertheless, multiple corporations are racing to build space hotels, some with outlandishly ambitious construction dates (this year). Last September, according to Business Insider, Bigelow Aerospace invited NASA astronauts to tour its “life-sized prototype of an inflatable habitat that could one day house astronauts on a journey to Mars.” This is technology that would almost certainly also accommodate tourists. In fact, according to the same article, reservations for soon-to-be-build hotels are available for booking now.

This all belongs to the “space-for-space economy,” where productive activity in space requires secondary economies, residences, meetings, people and things needing to show up in the right place at the right time. And, where recreational and other interactive activities will necessitate entire economic ecosystems. Think of businesses along a frontier, but without easily attainable natural resources. Supply lines are everything in such a scenario, and to be successful they’ll have to be clustered.

Similar to on Earth, the most common harbinger of what becomes widely-used technology in space will be governments and their militaries. Recently, for example, there have been efforts to development of internet services in space (rather than satellite internet tech for terrestrial use — part of the “space-for-earth” economy to extend the above phrasing). Writing for Space News, Sandra Erwin reported on March 22 that “LEO [low-earth orbit] constellation moves DoD closer to a ‘hybrid architecture’ with a mix of satellites in different orbits, providing more resilience against cyberattacks or anti-satellite weapons.” Those needs translate into innovations for wireless internet availability in orbit, able to connect to users on earth in decentralized ways. As early as 2004, NASA tested “Tropos Wi-Fi mesh network gear for possible use on future missions to the red planet.”

It’s also good PR for the military-industrial complex. MIC consultants like the Center for Strategic and International Studies believe it is very important to emphasize those military-private sector connections in order to get taxpayers and elected officials firmly on board with those investments. So, statism and technological capitalism combine to create a culture of partnership between owners, entrepreneurs, and the military. In fact, NASA already has the “Deep Space Network”,  a radio precursor to what will eventually be an interplanetary internet network. Experts have been speculating on space communication from both a military and commercial standpoint for as long as we’ve known space travel to be possible.

Business Week article predicts: “Space tourists could one day get an immersive astronaut experience, be wined and dined with incredible views of the Earth, or even play zero-gravity games like Quidditch.” This kind of luxurious wining and dining is a feature, not a bug, of statism, a hierarchical view of governance that makes militarism necessary in the first place. Let’s just hope that workers at the hotels and telecom firms unionize and push back against the drive to extend labor exploitation into space. It’s not without precedent.