The Great Space Jack-Off…

When I was twelve years old I wanted nothing more than to be an astronaut. To travel to space, and to see the planet of my birth from a distance. To go boldly where, well…a few had gone before.

When the space shuttle first launched into space, in 1981, I hassled my father until he agreed to let me call the international line NASA had set up, so I could hear the transmissions going back and forth between the astronauts and NASA HQ.

Despite hearing absolutely nothing of any consequence whatsoever, and despite a phone bill that my father certainly regretted, I was thrilled. It was, in a word, exciting.

Yes, when I was twelve.

Luckily, since then – I have grown up.

Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Gregory Olsen, and now Anousheh Ansari.

What do they have in common?

Well, they are the space tourists, people so caught up in their own little multi-millionaire bubbles that they are willing to spend up to $20 million to piss in space while being fully aware of just how many terran-based human lifeforms that much money could save.

Shameful, and in it’s own way no less shameful than buying a million dollar diamond-studded cell phone. As though the universe could care less where you’ve been or what you possess.

We’re not twelve anymore, and whereas I have nothing against space tourism per se, I consider it in extremely poor taste when Earth is still home to poverty, famine, racism, and murder.

Grow up.

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2 Comments

  1. Outer space colonization may almost be an historical and economic inevitability. In these first decades of its development, we’re bound to see a lot of firsts, first man to fart in orbit, first monkey on the moon, first woman tourist, first MTV broadcast from the space station, etc. Foolish to pay a fortune for something that could be a lot cheaper a decade from now, yes, but not really shameless.
    And how are we to know that that space tourist hadn’t already consecrated a fortune for relief aid or some such charity ?
    If you had the money to get lobbed into orbit, would you not go for it? Wouldn’t be interested? is it someone’s fault if they would be interested in doing it?

  2. If it were a necessary action, it would not be foolish at all to not wait till it got cheaper, since being alive at any future time is uncertain.

    The issue is between necessity and needless extravagence.

    If I had the money? I think I’ve already answered that question; I am no longer twelve.

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