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Come on Up (to the ISS) You're the Next Contestant 120

Ender writes "The Voice of America and the NY times (Free registration, yetti, yatta ...) are running articles informing us that the Russian space Agency Rosaviakosmos has an agreement with Moscow to send a TV contest winner to the International Space Station. All contestants would train for space flight during the programs and this would show the audience how cosmonauts are trained prior to their space flight." Boy bands are ineligible.
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Come on Up (to the ISS) You're the Next Contestant

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  • They could have Bob Barker as the host! Come on up!
  • by (void*) ( 113680 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:48AM (#4416644)
    Do they get spaced?
  • dam (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by SirSlud ( 67381 )
    .. cause actually, I want to send every reality TV show contestant into space.

    Any chance of crossover shows with other reality shows? Personally, it makes more sense to me that the winner should get to stay on earth.
    • Any chance of crossover shows with other reality shows? - SirSlud
      There was a Survivor variant screened in the UK a short while ago (or so I understand from reports in the media) under the title "I'm a celebrity - get me outa here". Has potential, I'd say.
  • Oy.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:48AM (#4416646) Homepage Journal
    Can't wait until the Russians finally figure out that a PORN STAR in the ISS will make for better ratings. Zero-Gee sex will have millions throwing $$$$ in the direction of the Russians.
    • Not that would make for some really safe sex!!
    • Well porn accelerated the Video market and to some degrees the internet, why not space travel.
    • Re:Oy.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by BeeShoo ( 42280 )
      Don't remember where I read this, but supposedly sex in Zero-Gs is very difficult. It is said to be difficult to "push off" properly.

      ...and yes, I AM being serious.
      • Re:Oy.... (Score:2, Funny)

        by AGMW ( 594303 )
        I can see the problem of gravity-less-sex ... push for the "up-stroke" and you're out-a-there!

        I guess it'll have to be doggie style then, where you can grab the young lady's hips. Some sort of elastic band round both bodies to put the bounce back perhaps.

        Do they need research subjects ?

    • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:08AM (#4417152)
      Zero-Gee sex will have millions throwing $$$$ in the direction of the Russians.

      Up until people actually watch it. Take a minute to try and visualize sex in an environment where there's no "up" or "down" and where astronauts/cosmonauts actually have to be strapped to a wall in a sleeping bag in order to get a good night's rest.

      This is approximately what would happen: they'd get naked. Some fawning over the appearance of zero-gee boobs and thingies. Oral sex to start things off, natch. The sixty-nine position is interestingly easy when you're both floating, but they're not watching where they're drifting, and the two partners keep banging their feet and backs into walls and boxes while they float through the compartment. Plus they have to hold each other's legs tightly the whole time, because there's no gravity to keep them pressed against each other.

      Then they actually try intercourse, missionary position to start, and quickly discover the woman has to wrap her arms and legs around her partner to do anything more, because the least brush causes the two floating bodies to drift away from each other.

      So they've got that worked out, but after a few minutes the woman's legs are getting tired from doing all the work. And the audience wants to see different positions, right? So the man tries to get on top -- no good, there's no "top" or "bottom" in space and he keeps pushing her hips away.

      He tries doggy style. Same problem. He tries it again, this time holding her hips in a death grip, which kind of works except that her legs keep bouncing away from his, causing her torso to drift upward and away. So doggy style with his legs wrapped around hers again, except that makes it impossible for him to get any decent leverage.

      The video camera focuses on her zero-gee boobs. It has to, there's nothing else interesting to watch. Finally it's determined that if she grabs ahold of two straps on one wall with her hands, wraps her ankles in another strap on the floor, she can keep herself at a kind of ninety-degree position so that he can take her from behind, albeit twisted ninety degrees to the left.

      They finish the act in that position, too frustrated to try and figure out any others right now. The ratings have already plummeted anyhow, seeing as MTV offers more action in any given half-hour of programming than this.
      • So they'll need some straps and force. It'll be a Bondage porn session then, no worries.

        The most interesting part is spared in the parent article... the shot. This gives new possibilities. Not trying who can shoot it over the longest distance but rather trying to shoot in a way that keeps it airborne for the longest time period.

        Boy, I AM dirty today...
      • High-heels with magnetic soles should take care of it. Don't all the chicks in porn movies wear high-heels all the time anyway?
  • by BaronVonDuvet ( 612870 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:49AM (#4416661)
    Is part of the prize the return flight or is this another one of those scams we keep hearing about? ;-)
  • Also at CNN (Score:4, Informative)

    by Devil's BSD ( 562630 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:51AM (#4416665) Homepage
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:52AM (#4416672) Homepage
    Taking a cue from the "Survivor" Reality show.

    A Boy Band star is "voted off" the space station and stuffed into an air lock.
  • Well (Score:5, Funny)

    by drhairston ( 611491 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:52AM (#4416673) Homepage
    That's one small step for television, but one giant leap for degrading space travel.
    • People see astronauts as clean cut, heroic, go-getters What people want to see are blue colar slobs.

      As long as the contestants aren't a statistician, a mathematician and a different kind of mathematician.

      Personally I don't mind what happens as long as they don't get sent to that planet of the apes. Wait a minute, that was earth.....

    • Re:Well (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Degrading? This is what we want, the whole point is to make space travel common place. The point of building space stations, ships, etc. Would you really rather that only the elite few could ever go to space?

      If Survivor ISS will get more money into the space program im for it. Plus, tell me you wouldn't wanna see a porno filmed in zero g? :)
      • I think there already is... The Uranus Project or Experiment or something like that. Can't remember exactly, just remember reading a blurb about some flight captain who is flying a parabel flight-capable Boeing/Airbus for scientific experiments. He mentioned that the aircraft was once rented out to a porn film crew for two weeks straight.
    • I know it's funny, but I'm sure you agree that the more space travel gets 'degraded', the sooner joe sixpack can finally get his own view from space...I personnally can't wait!
    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sql*kitten ( 1359 )
      That's one small step for television, but one giant leap for degrading space travel.

      Degrading? NASA and its cronies have the bizarre idea that the only people who should go into space are those with the "right stuff" but what I see is a bunch of people playing with expensive toys and not producing anything that advances manned space exploration.

      The people who deserve to go into space are anyone and everyone who can justify their place there economically. Whether that's a scientist doing product development, a tourist spending money earned on earth, an industrialist mining asteroids or a porn star shooting videos, all have a better claim on space than some astronaut who commutes to NEO and back just for the sake of it, on the taxpayer's dime.
      • Re:Well (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

        Well said.

        My favourite (verbal, undocumented AFAIK) Buzz Aldrin quote:

        "I never imagined that space exploration would mean parking cargo in low earth orbit"

        So sure, if that's all we're going to do, let's do it for profit, not for knowlege. Jeezus, we know how to park cargo in orbit.

        Further, if the trillions pumped into NASA really can't be made to pay off, then we should do some pretty harsh assessment of what the purpose of a space program is. I don't mean that we should can it, I mean that we should skip the screwing around and just start flinging brave souls out in rickety generation ships to nearby systems on the honest basis that we're 99.9% confident of condeming them (and their possible children) to death, but that if we wait until we're even 10% confident that we can get a foothold on another planet, we'll never go, because our actual research has effectively stalled and we have neither the will to push it on, or the guts to accept failure.

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:12AM (#4417176) Homepage
      The key to getting the people to invest in expensive space exploration and development programs is in keeping them interested. It's sad that NASA has to learn a lesson from the Russians on this one.

      You cannot get funding for a program if it doesn't capture the hearts of those paying for it. NASA had that with the moon landings, but they've let the public's imagination slip away to the point that most people don't consider space exploration worthwhile.

      They can send NSync, the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears up all at the same time for a weightless concert, who cares if it gets other more vital projects necessary funding? If the ISS isn't kept in the public's view, if they're not reminded on a daily basis how important and exciting it is, then it'll end up just another SkyLab with it's most noteworthy event being it's fiery re-entry.
    • Degrading space travel? As far as I'm concerned, space travel will only get better, safer, and faster with every trip we make. I'm all in favor of anything that brings ME closer to getting a chance, instead of glorifying the privileged elite who have been lucky enough to be anointed by NASA.
  • by Gopher971 ( 219910 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:54AM (#4416688) Journal
    Are we finally seeing space travel as "Reality TV"? Im all for expansion of space but do we really need MTV's "The Real World in Space" TM? :-)
  • I'm sorry to tell you this story is a scam. This [slashdot.org] is what happens when you beat the Russians at Cribbage. They're just trying to repay their gambling debts.
  • by phlack ( 613159 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:56AM (#4416700)
    It's another contest.

    Monty Hall: "Would you prefer to take one more tour of the station, or would you like what's behind door #2?"

    Contestant/Winner: "I'll take Door #2 Monty"

    Contestant/Winner: "Wait...that look like an airlock....WHOAAAAAAA!!!!!"

    Monty Hall: "Should have taken the tour".

  • Unlike clueless NASA, the Russian Space Agency knows what happened to Contour. [uncoveror.com] I would much rather have them send me to space than NASA [uncoveror.com] if I were going into space.
  • It's better (Score:3, Funny)

    by ksplatter ( 573000 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:58AM (#4416721)
    It's alot better than their last game show.

    Russian Roulette!!

    It wasn't a bad show until they ran out of contestants!
  • by kisrael ( 134664 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @09:59AM (#4416732) Homepage
    Y'know, maybe I'm biased, but having such a unique "grand prize" makes me think that losing would be devastating, in a way other "survivor"-esque shows aren't. If you're optimistic you think *maybe* this isn't "once in a lifetime", if we manage to make space travel a little less unique, but still.

    And how ironic is it that its the formerly communist governments that are making this stuff possible? I'm sure a scifi writer from the 1950s would still have the game show by those wacky Americans, but would probably soom that we'd do the space travel side as well... ...huh. I meant that to be funny, but now it just seems like a depressing commentary on the state of space exploration by the USA.
    • It wouldn't be so bad. In these times of economic recession "Trained Space Traveler" wouldn't look so bad on your resume!
    • Y'know, maybe I'm biased, but having such a unique "grand prize" makes me think that losing would be devastating, in a way other "survivor"-esque shows aren't. If you're optimistic you think *maybe* this isn't "once in a lifetime", if we manage to make space travel a little less unique, but still.

      I'd argue that that's part of the price of playing. If anybody goes into this program without *expecting* that they're not going to be picked, I have little sympathy for them (ditto people who put winning the lottery into their budget).
    • In these modern times, where money can control everything, it is not uncommon to see a former communist government letting this happen and supporting. Perhaps this is a downside to capitalism and reality TV that we want to shoot desperate competitive into space. Reality TV is already loosing a lot of its luster in the United States of America so I assume that this show will be marketed in other area's where the demand is still high.

      Also is this a setback for NASA? Possibility, but I think there is a larger issue for NASA here. Some Stories from Scientific American I believe shed light on the issue Has the Space Age Stalled? [sciam.com] and Lost in Space [sciam.com].

      A larger issue that is discussed in both articles is that many young Americans are loosing their attachment to NASA and the space race. This could be a costly mistake. This prize winner wont help NASA, but I don't think they are going to kill the space program.

      Medevo
      • Also is this a setback for NASA? Possibility, but I think there is a larger issue for NASA here.

        The sad fact is that anything that is bad for NASA is probably good for the space industry. NASA is a massively inefficient bureaucracy and its gotten that way because it was always a prestige organization that never had to justify its existance economically.

        About the best thing the US govt. could do would be to pay off or securitize NASA's debt, then sell it in an IPO. As a private company, it would be highly incentivized to both produce useful work and capture the public's imagination.
        • About the best thing the US govt. could do would be to pay off or securitize NASA's debt, then sell it in an IPO. As a private company, it would be highly incentivized to both produce useful work and capture the public's imagination.

          True, very true, but be wary as this could have negative problems. NASA should be privately audited, and have pieces of it split off to maintain cost/benefit. We still do need a solid PUBLIC organization for space and space related science, and NASA has done that (with a price tag). The conversion should be slow enough to not hamper research, but can still cut the crap off of NASA

          Medevo
      • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @11:28AM (#4417277) Homepage
        In these modern times, where money can control everything, it is not uncommon to see a former communist government letting this happen and supporting. Perhaps this is a downside to capitalism and reality TV that we want to shoot desperate competitive into space.

        Might one argue that this is the opposite of the problem NASA has? It ISN'T thinking about the bottom-line - it is thinking of its pride!

        Just think - if Bill Gates is willing to pay his way for a ride into space, why SHOULDN'T NASA let him do it? Now, it should definitely not cost the public a single dime - he should pay for all costs associated with the trip. However, to say that he shouldn't be allowed simply because it doesn't advance science is just pride. Basically you're saying that his money isn't good enough for you.

        The Russians have opened space to the public. Sure, most people can't afford it - but most people can't afford a $14,000 plasma HDTV either... The Russians aren't afraid to make money on space travel, and neither should NASA.

        If NASA wants to factor in the cost of lost opportunities (due to having room for one less scientist) or wear and tear on the shuttle, or any number of other costs - fine. But the cost shouldn't be "not gonna do it for any price"...

        Besides, stuff like this makes space travel more appealing to the public, and probably would boost their funding anyway. (As if John Glenn's journey was really just for scientific value!)
        • I think NASA is doing the CORRECT thing by not allowing stuff like that, after all NASA is about science not shooting rich people into space. I was trying to imply that the corruption that is affecting Russia's space program has yet to spread, but I stand behind I belief that NASA need to do PR work and a lot of it.

          Perhaps we need a Private Company that would allow people to go into space, and not interfere with science. The problem is that the technology for private corps is a few years away and people want to go into space NOW.

          Medevo
        • It's not really so much that the Russians aren't afraid to make money on space travel. They actually have no real choice. Russia's "Channel One" web site has an article here [www.ortv.ru] (in Russian) that talks about the upcoming reality series, and admits that the Russian space agency is hoping to find sponsorship through this programme for upcoming space trips, because right now there's no money for planned fall 2003 space shots.

          It reminds me of how when the Soviet Union fell apart, Rosaviacosmos had to resort to shooting milk commercials and other stuff aboard Mir. It was embarrasing for the cosmonauts, to have the once-proud Soviet space program reduced to scraping by on cheap stunts.

  • Anyone ever read "Have SpaceSuit Will Travel" by Henlein? Only, the runner up got a space suit instead of the trip. OK, so it wasnt a tv show but it was a contest to win a space trip. Lets commercialize space travel, then we can all go!

    "Get Moose and Squirrel!"
  • Read More (Score:4, Informative)

    by moc.tfosorcimgllib ( 602636 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:01AM (#4416742) Journal
    More info can be found here:

    http://www.ortv.ru/ [www.ortv.ru] and here http://www.ortv.ru/ [www.ortv.ru]

    Remember to use Babelfish [altavista.com] or some other translator if you can't read Russian.
  • by nob ( 244898 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:03AM (#4416760) Homepage
    I heard ISS is really unstable and full of holes. Who would want to go there?

    Oh wait, that's IIS.

  • by blackbeaktux ( 525688 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:03AM (#4416762)
    Though I would pay money to see that little twit from that boy group (nstink^H^H^H^H^H*sink^H^H^Hync) jettisoned into space because he couldn't come up with the money for his training...
  • by X86Daddy ( 446356 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:04AM (#4416764) Journal
    of 5 people...

    and an airlock.
  • It's been done (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rassie ( 452841 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:05AM (#4416770)
    The Danish TV station TV2 did a similar show about a year ago. Check out missionen.tv2.dk [tv2.dk]. However, this was not to go to the ISS, but to win a trip on a Space Cruiser [spacetrans.com]. (the site is old, and it looks not very well maintained)

    I believe it is also being done on the Norwegian TV2 (no relation between the two).
  • Are these the same folks who were trying to start a game show on the same premise, but the grand prize was a trip to MIR? The show idea got tabled after MIR started growing space fungus and they ditched the thing in the ocean, but it sounds like the exact same thing. /. posted a story on it at the time, I can't seem to find the link.
  • But, I'd slaughter my parents if it meant a trip to an ISD.

    Sorry, I need help.

  • by anonymous loser ( 58627 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:18AM (#4416847)
    ...just as soon as we get that elevator built! ;-)

  • One would hope that, in this sue-happy society, the Russians have considered the ramifications of a situation where something bad happens. Sure, sure, it's unlikely. But there have been enough situations where space launches have gone awry to make one think about it. (Challenger was one, but then again, that was NASA, not the Russian space program). Maybe the winner gets to sign one of those lovely "release of liability" forms? Just a thought.
    • Wow, how US-centric can you get? Thankfully frivolous sueing hasn't spread beyond the US yet...at least, not in the way it's practiced in the US, where you actually can use the term 'ambulance chaser'.

      The rest of the world isn't at that level...yet.
    • [Hopefully] in this sue-happy society, the Russians have considered the ramifications of a situation where something bad happens

      Woah, Ahmericun alert!

      The Russians (as in "living in Russia"? You know, the non-US country?) are hardly affected by the current state of "this" (meaning US, I suppose) country.

      Liability suits taken to an insane level, and then two notches beyond that (what did that woman in he recent case against Philip Morris get? $28 billion(!?) 28 BILLION dollars?!?!? - Gasp, gasp, gasp - Insanity) do not exist outside USA. In the rest of the world, we base claims on actual damage done, not the carrying capacity of the defendent.

      Back to space accidents: Russians do not think like Americans do on these issues. If you paid $plenty to get on a russian mission and it challengered, the russians would just say (to your family) "Very bad. These things happen. What? Pay you? Why?". Harras them enough and they would say "OK, you'll get standard loss-of-life compensation, $5,000. Now get out before we let the dogs eat you."

      • Wouldn't they just buy insurance and figure in that as the cost of the whole project?
        • No, they emphatically would not buy insurance. Why should they? Do you buy insurance before buying an ice cream, just in case you spill it down the front of some lady, causing her to sue you for, I don't know, sexual harassment?

          In Russia the situation is the opposite. People do not sue even if there's plenty of reason to do so. They'll just bite the sour apple, bitch a lot, and have another shot of vodka:-) (of course, this is all changing as we speak, though I doubt they'll ever get as bad as the Americans :-)

  • fuck registration (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:20AM (#4416853)
    Russian Show to Send Winner to Space
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Filed at 9:47 p.m. ET

    MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's biggest television station said Tuesday it was teaming up with the country's space agency to create a reality show that will be literally out of this world.

    The show will follow contestants as they go through the rigorous training required for cosmonauts, and the winner will spend a week on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, said Channel 1.

    The station said it planned to send the first winner to space in the fall of 2003.

    A recent attempt to combine space travel and entertainment failed when pop star Lance Bass was excluded from the crew that is to fly to the space station this month.

    Bass, of the group 'N Sync, was unable to come up with the $20 million fee, and Russian space officials said he would not be part of the crew despite weeks of training. A seven-part television documentary was planned around his flight.

    The reality TV project will ``demonstrate the space achievements of our country and give the winner a chance to go to space,'' Channel 1 director Konstantin Ernst said.

    Space agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov said the agency had signed a preliminary agreement for the show with Channel 1.

    Gorbunov said any television viewer would be apply to participate in the project. Through tests and competitions, the participants will be narrowed to 15-20 people, ``who will then undergo the medical examination necessary to be admitted to special training'' at Russia's cosmonaut training center, he said, according to Interfax.

    In the past two years, Russia has sent two paying tourists to the space station as a way to raise money for its cash-strapped space program. California millionaire Dennis Tito and South African Internet tycoon Mark Shuttleworth paid about $20 million each for their trips.

  • ... Big Brother in space :)
  • I am guessing this show will have the highest ratings of the fall lineup. Hey perhaps that guy who wants to skydive from the stratosphere should try out. Then we can really see something worth watching on TV.
  • by brandido ( 612020 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @10:29AM (#4416913) Homepage Journal

    I think they should play this like survivor, but with survival being the actual goal. Instead of giving the contestants any training, make them go into to space and try to not die. The last one to not die is the winner and get's a trip back to earth.

    If it looks like more than one person is going to survive, they can have competitions - who can survive outside without a suit the longest, who can survive Bass's music the longest, who can drink the most tang without peeing or throwing up (Road Rules reference), who can ride the ISS's Robotic arm as a broncing bull for the longest, etc. This could be the ultimate in Dead Reality TV - and since it is in outer space, don't need to worry about lawsuits, or murder convictions : )

  • I expect that there are relatively few people in Russia interested in space these days, like there are relatively few here. So I expect they don't have an overwhelming quantity of cosmonauts. I think it makes sense to have a TV show of cosmonaut training: you'll get more people, you'll promote the concept of space travel, you'll make money. It's not like they aren't going to train the contestants in much the same way they'd train a non-contestant normal cosmonaut. And afterwards, the winner will probably become a regular cosmonaut, since it will be some basically ordinary person, with no particularly interesting day job, who has cosmonaut training and spaceflight experience.

    This isn't really much different from how the American space program recruitment used to work: you look for prmising kids, fly them to Florida for Space Camp, and then try to get the best of them to become astronauts, meanwhile keeping taxpayers interested in funding the space program.
    • you'll promote the concept of space travel, you'll make money

      Only one thing will promote the concept of space travel and make money in space, and that's wholesale commercialization, such as mining, manufacturing and power generation, then evetually colonization as an offshoot of needing workers for the space-based industries.

      Anything else is just fluff, massively and unsustainably subsidized by the political pork barrel.
  • norway has already had its reality tv-show where the winner gets a flight to the ISS. the show was called 'astronautene'(the astonauts) and finished this summer/atumn. the consept was _very_ similar to this show.

    could link to it, but its in noerwegian anyway..
  • ISS-spotting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doug Neal ( 195160 )
    I managed to catch a glimpse of the ISS flying over the UK last thursday at about 8:15 pm, you can get the times that it will fly over your part of the world from sites such as Heavens Above [heavens-above.com] - it is very cool, if you're into that kind of thing, it starts off as a bright light like a star, rising pretty fast, getting brighter and brighter and then fading out as it enters the Earth's shadow. It faded out before setting. If you have a telescope, or even a decent pair of binoculars, you can make out the shape of the station - it's about 400km up. Apparently when it's finished you will be able to make out the shape with the naked eye :)
  • This is really a pretty good idea from a television standpoint. The producers get not one, but two reality shows out of this one venture. First they get the story of cosmonauts in training, then they get the most unique reality show ever to be seen...a regular person living on a space station. What could compete with that? The only thing that suprises me about this is that it is not some American TV venture. I was not aware of such an interest in reality based tv show in Russia.
  • by Ektanoor ( 9949 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:11PM (#4417553) Journal
    Well most of you may not get any idea of what Russia is. At least let me tell you one thing - 90% of what Holywood makes about us is pure crap. But I don't wanna write here about "what Russia really is". I'll just stick about this new story.

    For the last years, there is a rising taste for "adventure contests". It started with some tasteless copies of similar programs in the West, but things went somehow "wrong". Right now Russian major channels are producing or trying to produce programs more near to reality. So they drop a bunch of people in a lost Caribbean island for a few weeks, play "treasure hunts" with real tigers roaming next to you, or make a huge show by closing a few people in an apartment and showing how they live there together for a few days. Part of it is pure showbiz with special effects, but a good part is real and that's what is driving people to it, as in Russia there is a crazy taste for adventure.

    But as far as I see things are now going to the extreme. The real extreme. There is a show on "extreme sports", something completely crazy as many tricks ain't showbiz but real dangerous things.

    So this new show is nothing special with the exception of sending someone to Cosmos...

    On what concerns the practical aspects... Well what's special in Cosmos so that people can't go there? I frankly don't see the problem except for the money one has to pay. On what concerns the idea that ISS is being detoured from a "true scientific expedition". That started while Freedom and Mir2 were still on the paper and politicians were more worried more about superpower politics rather than Science. ISS is flawed and it is questionable from a technical and scientific point of view as it was cut, crunched and thinned every way possible. And here both Russians and Americans have their part on the blame. Russia did delay a LOT the main stage and some other components, due to its financial problems. But US is till now failing to fulfill its promises as it froze down a good part of the project. Presently ISS is mostly a show making a very little part of what was supposed to. And instead of making money, it is eating it up.

    So if the agencies are able to save some money by sending turists there, let be it. The standups that some of you people are playing here are flawed from start. No money? No Science, no ISS... And that concerns not only Russia but also the US with its stubborn, count-to-the-very-cent Congress.
    • Re:Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CyberDruid ( 201684 )
      Well most of you may not get any idea of what Russia is. At least let me tell you one thing - 90% of what Holywood makes about us is pure crap.

      90% of what Hollywood makes about any country (including USA) is pure crap.

      People who read this are probably familiar with computers to the degree that they can see how much nonsense the Hollywood depiction of, for example, a hacker is. As a matter of fact, any area in which I have special interests are treated with the same massive flood of factual incorrectness. Given this record, do we have any reason to believe that any of the subjects we know less about are treated with any accuracy?

    • Is part of the new 'crazy' Russia making me a 'foe' because of a half-baked joke? No offence to Russian people was intended, and I hope you clicked the link - where only an American (me) was harmed in a reference to 80's pop culture.
  • by fastdecade ( 179638 ) on Wednesday October 09, 2002 @12:20PM (#4417603)
    This is a strange comment from a space.com article on the contest [space.com]. It explains why a Russian show might be a bit more economical:

    Previous attempts by U.S. companies to organize a TV reality show and send the winner to space on board of a Russian Soyuz capsule failed due to the lack of funding. However, Rosaviakosmos traditionally charges domestic customers a smaller fee than that paid by foreign clients.

    "Traditionally?" A couple of years ago there was no such thing as space tourism. Now we're told there's even a tradition of targeted price structures!
    • I am sorry. This simply does not excite me. Not even the porn star in space angle. Heh heh heh. I would rather see a show that takes a broad focus on space and flight. Heh heh heh. It would be more enjoyable for me to ride in a USAF LRV (with nukes on board, if a daisy cutter is too heavy) for a week at a lower cost. (You remember that old old folks movie Dr. Stange love, in which the cowby rode the nuke down to the target.) Then some people could see it over China or Iraq and report it as a UFO. On a different note, can anyone out there tell me when social spending in America, became so much more of an important part of our budget than anything else. I hear so many politicians accuse each other of wanting to cut social security. Aside from genetic engineering and the augmentation of human beings with other tech., if we were serious about progress and evolving, would we not have redirected our government's focus to simply getting off this rock, setting up colonies on other planets. Most parts of our oversized American government could be redirected in ways that would contribute to the effort of thoroughly owning the space theater of oppppperations. Wouldn't it become almost spiritual? Wouldn't we all have vision again? Welfare could become, workfare for the purpose of getting resources and building the necessary infastructure for extending ourselves into space. Doing without so many comforts for the sake of our children's children could become a badge of honor. We were the first to put a man on the moon. I hope that the aging offspring of that effort do not turn out to be sterile or incestuous.
  • How quickly the former bastion of communism has adopted such a thoroughly democratic and capitalistic means of funding its space program. They could not get ahead under the old forced-contribution system so now they beat the US at their own game, getting those most interested and enthusiastic about space to pay for their research. I'm glad there's still such originality and creativity in science, even if it's mostly seen in creative means of scraping for funding.
  • How about?
    Who wants to be an astronaut?
    Survivor: The ISS edition.
    American Astronaut

  • ...Just because Google news provides a disproportionate number of links to its stories. Google news has no concept of news value or attribution. Link to VOA if it really contributes something, but in general:
    • VOA stories often read like federal government press releases because (guess what?) it's owned and operated by the federal government.
    • VOA's reporting is generally just garbage. Reading their stories reminds me of those people who flunked out of JOUR 101 because they didn't show up.
    The reporter who wrote this story did no work work of his own... he wrote the story based on a press release and stories written by other news organizations.

    First he quotes Russia's Interfax news agency, which quotes the television station's press release. He couldn't even bother to read the press release himself, which means he has no insight into this story, which explains why it is only six sentences long! Then at the end, the article notes, "Some information for this report provided by AFP."

    We would have been better off reading the press release itself, or an AP story. Diversity of news sources is a good thing that should be encouraged on slashdot, but not at the expense of quality.

    This is not a troll. All I'm saying is link to primary or knowledgeable impartial secondary sources -- not clueless, biased quaternary sources.

  • actually, today's dilbert [dilbert.com] sums up my thoughts about this space tourism thing quite well.

  • AP/STT. Helsinki, Dec 5th, 6:22 AM. For immediate release.

    In order to allay fears about the continuity of the Linux project, Linus
    Torvalds together with his manager Tove Monni have released "Linus
    v2.0", affectionately known as "Kernel Hacker - The Next Generation".

    Linux stock prices on Wall Street rose sharply after the announcement;
    as one well-known analyst who wishes to remain anonymous says - "It
    shows a long-term commitment, and while we expect a short-term decrease
    in productivity, we feel that this solidifies the development in the
    long run".

    Other analysts downplay the importance of the event, and claim that just
    about anybody could have done it. "I'm glad somebody finally told them
    about the birds and the bees" one sceptic comments cryptically. But
    even the skeptics agree that it is an interesting turn of events.

    Others bring up other issues with the new version - "I'm especially
    intrigued by the fact that the new version is female, and look forward
    to seeing what the impact of that will be on future development. Will
    "Red Hat Linux" change to "Pink Hat Linux", for example?"
    -- Linus Torvalds announcing that he became father of a girl

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