Another day, another space tourist...

This time it's a randomn former Microsoft engineer: "Simonyi is paying Space Adventures Ltd. of Vienna, Va., $20 to $25 million to take him to the International Space Station in March aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the company said. He would be the fifth person the company has taken to space."

And the fifth person to be the envy of hundreds of non-billionaires on the ground.

Well envy is for those with too much time on their hands.  Though it makes me think, I can see the day when someone complains about high star athletes salaries and they'll say: "what do they need all that money for?  For their million dollar cars, 100  million dollar homes, or their  occasional million dollar orbital jaunts?"

Is it really that far fetched? 

Eventually I can imagine space tourism will become the "in-thing" for those in the super rich category of the pecking order of society.  Although I guess football players and the like aren't exactly the "orbital jaunt" types when you think about it.  More probably it will belong to the silicon valley types like Gates or Carmack that spent their toodler years dreaming about space only to forget about it and become computer geeks.  But as the idea becomes more and more prominent, I can see it becoming  a fad that draws even NFL players into spending a million or two to say that they have gone to the great beyond.

"You've just won the superbowl, what are you going to do now?"  "I'm going to space!"

1 comment:

  1. Surecure11:09 AM

    As a pro-capitalist who knows that market dictates demand, it was only recently that I began to see this as a truth for space exploration as well. Since the dawn of the space-age we have held the notion that space is for governments and scientists. In this, it is not a far cry from the early day of airplanes which for the first decades of its infancy were really only used for mail delivery, governments and warfare.

    When one realizes that the first airplane flight was in 1903 but that public commercial air travel didn't really begin to flourish until the 1940's, and even then was only available (and by way of price-fixing, allowed) for the wealthy, one realizes that perhaps this is just the way things go. All forms of exploration and travel start off as whims of the wealthy that average people thumb our noses at. But, if we ever want space exploration to become commonplace, it is going to take the opening of the venture to commonplace people to do it.

    Personally, every time another wealthy person gets to the ISS I am a happy man. Why? Because I know that sooner or later the ISS won't be big enough to hold the number of people reaching for the stars and both governments and corporations will have to resign themselves to the fact that there is serious commercial growth potential in the market. And once that happens, projects like Virgin Galactic won't seem so eccentric.