Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Walk in Space for $15 Million (Plus Airfare) 133

avtchillsboro writes "A NY Times article has details on a news release by Space Adventures Ltd. (SAL). SAL has previously provided space trips to three wealthy individuals for (US)$20 million. The article announces the $15 million EVA 'upgrade', and quotes SAL chief executive Eric Anderson, who says that the plan has been approved by the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation; but the article also says that NASA has not been informed." From the article: "Fewer than 450 people have traveled to space, and the club of spacewalkers is even more exclusive. Just 151 people have stepped outside the relative safety of their craft to greet the void with only a visor to separate life and death. 'Spacewalk is the ultimate experience that we've managed to invent as humans,' said Tom Jones, a former astronaut and spacewalker who is an adviser to Space Adventures. Being outside the craft when 'there's nothing between you and the ground below but empty space,' he said, is 'incomparable.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Walk in Space for $15 Million (Plus Airfare)

Comments Filter:
  • NASA not informed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zouden ( 232738 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @05:55AM (#15762391)
    I wasn't aware that NASA had to be informed about EVAs in space. If the Russians want to allow it, who's to stop them?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      With so much redtape the US wants to slap on space travel they deserve to lose the market. If you bully a country into a situation of dependancy on the US it will use whatever means it can to survice outside that dependancy. In this case, space turism. US lost the space tursim race, just as they lost the space race (Russia was there first :) US is just like Microsoft - Because we also ran.
    • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @06:04AM (#15762404) Homepage Journal
      who's to stop them?

      Assuming that this is an EVA from the ISS they could egress from the Russian airlock but if there is a problem with that airlock they may have to enter through the US airlock. While outside they may have to interact with US hardware such as the external surfaces of the modules, communication gear, etc.

      I think NASA should definitely have a say in who does EVAs around the ISS.

      Also I think an EVA from a Soyuz would be out of the question on safety grounds.

      • by cyclone96 ( 129449 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:30PM (#15763202)
        You are right...while they could egress the Russian Airlock (Pirs) and hang out over on the Russian Segment, most EVAs take some advantage of NASA assets. Primarily communications - the audio from the suits is relayed through the NASA Tracking and Data Relay satellite system which essentially has global coverage. While the EVA could be done with only Russian communications assets, it would take place only over Russian groundsites (about 15 minutes every orbit of 90 minutes). There is a considerable safety margin gained with the constant communications.

        Russian EVAs also take advantage of the external US television cameras, including those that are on the robotic arm. The robotic arm takes some planning and crew time to reposition, which is another NASA asset they are utilizing.

        Frankly, I'm somewhat surprised the Russians are offering this. I don't think the general public quite has a sense of how complex and how dangerous EVA actually is. The suits themselves are complicated little machines, and you need a great deal of training to react to emergencies (pump failures, leaks, etc.) to keep yourself from getting killed. Additionally, most EVA astronauts go through a lot of personal training to build up upper body strength and endurance. This is because doing an EVA is physically grueling, since you are working against the pressure in the suit.

        In other words, whoever goes outside really needs to know what they are doing. This is in contrast with simply riding up for the week onboard. While the trip up/down is dangerous, the customer doesn't really have to know/do all that much, except stay strapped into the seat and be trained on how to use the toilet.
        • by AJWM ( 19027 )
          The suits themselves are complicated little machines,

          The NASA suits are (over-?) complicated machines. The Russian suits are much simpler in design. (Most studies I've seen of "next generation" suits borrow a lot from Russian design.) Certainly anyone capable of learning technical diving or commercial diving can learn to handle a space suit, and you're just as dead if something goes wrong in the former cases as the latter.

          As for the "physically grueling" aspect, tourists are just going to be floating aro
        • I would imagine it would actually be a very simple "spacewalk." The lucky person would definitely be tethered to the craft and barring any serious defect--a puncture to the suit, for example--it would not be a big deal dragging the person back in. Anyone can talk on the mike and ask for help. I would love to do this! Now, I just need to figure out how to get the cash together :-(
        • you need a great deal of training to react to emergencies

          The Russians sell stick time in a dual-control MiG-29 too...they manage to handle the training requirements for that.

          rj

      • Also I think an EVA from a Soyuz would be out of the question on safety grounds.
        Well, you can Spacewalk out of a Soyuz--Soyuz 4 & 5 did it. The problem being that you don't have an airlock (or, more accurately, the capsule is the airlock), so everybody gets to Spacewalk.
  • Door Charge (Score:5, Funny)

    by WindowsIsForArseWipe ( 990338 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @05:55AM (#15762392)
    $15 Million for the space walk but you better have the $100 million if you hope to get back in!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 22, 2006 @05:56AM (#15762393)
    We can send Billy Gates to space almost 3333 times;D
  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @06:04AM (#15762402) Homepage
    Over 450 people have been to space, and 150 have walked in space, but did you know that no-one has ever eaten hot chilis in space?!!

    Yes, for only a few dollars more you can be the first* to:

      - Sing "I did it my way" while orbiting the equator ($15m)
      - Take part in a Rheingold-approved smart mob from 150m up! ($16.5m)
      - Experience the dark side of the moon ($50m)
      - Dig for diamonds and gold on the surface of the moon ($350m)**
      - Dare to try "extreme reentry", just you and a suit and a chute ($5m)
      - Do the 'No HAL!' space dance ($30m)
      - Learn to patch an inflatable space station using chewing gum and frozen urine ($22.5m)
      - Take guitar lessons in space ($32m)
      - Conceive your next baby in space ($40m for two)

    * Alien visitations not included.
    ** Precious items recovered from the lunar surface are the property of the tour company.
  • FSA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Toby The Economist ( 811138 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @06:06AM (#15762405)
    "...that the plan has been approved by the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation", who, according to another source, a Mr.Satan, would gladly sell your soul to the devil for the right price, no questions asked.

  • Lease back (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @06:23AM (#15762415) Homepage Journal

    Since space adventures are (apparently) doing so well with their business perhaps they should buy the ISS. NASA doesn't really need to own it anyway.

    They could lease back a couple of permanant spots in the station from the new owners and establish an arrangement for safe harbour in the case of a shuttle failure, at least until 2010.

    • Re:Lease back (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, all they'd need to do is sell about 3,000 of these EVA packages to begin to break even..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 22, 2006 @06:39AM (#15762435)
    It's not unusual.
  • I can't help but feel that there's something morally wrong with spending that much money on something that lasts a few minutes, can't be shared, etc., while back in the real world people are starving, school budgets are shrinking...

    • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @07:39AM (#15762520)
      Taken to its logical conclusion, none of us here should be spending the money on an internet connection, computer, console, TV, etc. Sure, none of those things on their own are very expensive, but taken as a whole over the whole population, it adds up.

      My £15/month for my ADSL connection, for example, would feed a family or two in the poorest parts of Africa, and yet here I am...
    • It's more than a thrill. Doing something extreme, such as space flight, or even parachuting, bungee jumping, or armed combat increases a person's natural abilities. Although not commonly known, I would assume that if an ordinary person, with little or no building or moneymaking abilities did something as amazing as ascending to a million feet up in the air (or however high up this spacewalk is), their building and/or moneymaking abilities, and also their decisionmaking and other mental and physical abilitie
      • Doing something extreme ... increases a person's natural abilities.

        Source please?

        I would assume that if an ordinary person, with little or no building or moneymaking abilities did something as amazing as ascending to a million feet up in the air (or however high up this spacewalk is), their building and/or moneymaking abilities, and also their decisionmaking and other mental and physical abilities, should increase dramatically.

        I hope I speak for the rest of /.'s sane readership when I ask: what the hell are
        • Lets say your net worth at this time is $500k, and your annual salary is $50k. Then, you win a free spacewalk as a prize for a call in radio contest. My theory is, and I'm pretty sure it's accurate, although mostly from personal experience and not from a certified college student or magazine source, is that within a few years of your spacewalk your annual salary will rise to $95k and your net worth will jump to $5M. This is because doing things enhances your mind and body, and doing extreme things (an aweso
    • by suffe ( 72090 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @08:57AM (#15762638) Homepage Journal
      It's not like they are taking a pile of $15M and setting it on fire. I would assume that most of the cost related to this will go back in to the economy in one way or another. Labor costs for constructing the EVA suit, material costs, labor costs for digging the material out of the ground et cetera. In other words, the money will just be allocated to some other place in the economy. Recommended reading would be Macroeconomics 101, Velocity of Money and perhaps something by Modigliani or Friedman.

      Now as for the price of the additional rocket fuel (not included in the $15M) is a completely different matter. Now that is, literally. burning money.
      • Now as for the price of the additional rocket fuel (not included in the $15M) is a completely different matter. Now that is, literally. burning money.

        But its not. Someone was paid for that rocket fuel -- at least in theory -- more likely its ending up in some Russian politician or gangster's pocket, but either way the money is still in circulation.
        • Sure it does, but you are in essence removing it from earth, burning it (which you do not do for the labor and you don't need (much more) material for the non-fuel parts of the mission). Look at it this way. If I build a 60 meter tall building and people move in to it, no destruction of money has happened. Now, if I build a 60 meter tall building and the moment I'm done set of some nice charges to demolish it, then all of a sudden value has been destroyed even though money has been funneled in to the local
      • Now as for the price of the additional rocket fuel (not included in the $15M) is a completely different matter. Now that is, literally. burning money.

        Read your own post! That fuel has to come from somewhere. It takes manpower and equipment to extract, refine & transport it, etc.

      • No, you are wrong. This is one of the most common misconceptions about economics. It's called the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org]. The problem with your argument is that those $15 million could have been spent elsewhere. Compare two possible situations: You pay $15M to go to space. Many engineers and technicians get a salary and you go to space. Or, you donate $15M to feed starving children in Africa. Many farmers, aid workers, whatever get a salary and thousands of children are fed properly. Pretty much any

        • I never said it couldn't be spent wiser. I was pointing out that it's not like the money is gone after the 15 minutes are up. Of course you can spend it on better things. You post brings out a slightly tangent point though. Should aid be spent on helping to feed starving people or should it be spend on preventing starvation by making sure people can feed themselves. A bit of-topic though, and better saved for a future thread.
      • Now as for the price of the additional rocket fuel (not included in the $15M) is a completely different matter. Now that is, literally. burning money.

        I'm not entirely convinced of that; as others have said, the fuel had to come from somewhere, and people were paid to extract it, refine it, transport it, etc, all of which also required equipment, that in turn was manufactured from components and base materials that were produced by other people, etc.

        On top of that, no fuel, no $15m space walk; you can easily
    • Sure, because socialism has worked out so well in the past, we should drop all incentives for people to be successful by taking away their ability to spend the results of their success on whatever they want, even if it is silly and seems like a complete waste of money to some.

      Then again, as I've said before, Ethics and Morals are individual You're welcome to your views. Just don't try to legislate them into existance for everyone else.
    • Your post was modded insightful when I got to it but it really doesn't deserve that kind of attention.

      First of all people are not starving because there is not enough money to go around and school budgets
      aren't down because of poverty. People are being starved by design and the "training" we give to the
      next generation of serfs is twice as effective at half the expense. No amount of lower-middle class
      hardship labor incentive coupons (=money) will change that..
  • Any ideas? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @08:17AM (#15762571)
    Is there any way for a person born into the 'middle class' of American society (access to education, minimal crime suburban living) to make 20 million, much less 35 million, before they are too old to go to space? Let's arbitrarily choose a cutoff age of 60.

    I can think of ways that a person MIGHT be able to accumulate this much wealth (I am ommitting exceptional cases, like being one of an enormous number of computer scientists to invent an effective search engine, or doing whatever it takes to be selected as corporate CEO) , but markets change over a person's career fast enough that there's just no way to know.

    For instance, the highest paying profession today that a person can take a known route to (there's no known route to becoming a corporate CEO or Donald Trump of real estate) that I can think of would be a specialty surgeon. But, that's in today's market : a surgeon is just a highly skilled technician, the reason salaries are so high is because of the extremely large workload and limited supply of surgeons. (for instance, if a surgeon made the average salary of $200,000 a year but worked 80 hours a week, they only make about 50 bucks an hour. Numerous other jobs make that much money, just noone works those hours)

    It is doable : if the person finished their education at 30, they have 30 years to make 15 million dollars. TODAY in some specialties, like orthopedics, the average salary is several hundred thousand. Prudent investment, with decent interest rates, might mean a person would only need to invest about 5 million 15 years earlier, and receive the average overall historical rate of return for the stock market.

    No guarantees...but it sounds doable.

    Lawyers also have a good shot. If you cashed in on just one million dollar settlement every 2 years, making the 30-40% contingency, plus collecting fees for other smaller cases, a lawyer could make the money. Potentially, much sooner : represent the parents of a crippled child because some deep pocket entity made a preventable error, and 30% of the 10 million dollar settlement is yours. Invest it, and plan on going to space in 15 years. Only a tiny fraction of the lawyers in this country ever collect on something that big, I suspect, however. (I don't actually know if this is the case)

    All of this assumes many things, 30 years ago (1976) no-one could have predicted that commercial space flight would be available for 15 million dollars. Most people would have probably assumed it would be much, much cheaper and more common, actually. Or un-available.

    I wonder what other unique life experiences can be had for 15 million. I can't think of anything that costs more than a million, actually. An enormous mansion or private jet doesn't count, that isn't unique enough.
    • Sure. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @09:42AM (#15762727) Homepage Journal
      You have to take risks, work your butt off, and be a little lucky.

      Did you see the recent article on the 10 dumbest internet sales ideas that made money?

      Does that give you a hint?

      Look, there are many successful people who had a great many stupid ideas. The nice thing is that the stupid ideas they had are usually forgotten, unless they already are rich and then they get ridiculed for awhile until their next big success.

      People constant rant that the middle class has no chance. Well that is bunk. Hell you picked lawyers and such (with unrealistic views of what the majority get into) and many of them came from middle class families. Lots of doctors are the same way.

      Do you have what it takes to dedicate 8+ years to learn a trade, and then another 8-16 to be very successful at it?

      Most people don't. That is what separates those who make the transition from lower/middle/upper to the ranks of millionaires. Many people reach a level of contentment. They are happy and see no reason to push. For others its a dream worth obtaining.

      Got to love some of the typical whine responses I saw, about how wasteful it is, especially throwing out the guilt card. I don't what is worse, posters throwing the guilt card or race card. Seems the whiners always have a deck to play with. Yet society doesn't move on without people having dreams and the incentive to get there.

      There probably are a lot of HS/College students this day looking to go to space. Many will plan for it and only a few will succeed. A lot of that success is from hard work and dedication. Sure luck will help but if you count on it you are already half way to failing.

      The common thread among the guys we label "the owners" of the company I work for is that they put in more hours than most people imagine. Two of them are over 75 and they still "work". The spend their freetime alright, but they still work. Yet they got where they were because they did put in the hours. Do you have what it takes to put in 60-80 hours a week for dozens of years?

      So, middle class or not, a spacewalk is possible for almost anyone. The key is making it happen. Hell, who knows, by the time you have the money needed you probably will have found something else to do with it. You might even be one to shut the whiners up by dedicating large amounts to hunger!
      • Well. I acknowledge that tremendous work is required. (note the caveat in my post the the biggest 'seeming' salary isn't really any higher than numerous other jobs)

        But it is a game. There's a TREMENDOUS luck factor. (not a "little" like in your post). To name a couple dumb ones off the top of my head : who would have thought you could become a millionaire by preaching that the earth is only 6,000 years old? Or developing the video game "deer hunter", when thousands of other more sophisticated efforts
      • Sure. Going on a $35M holiday is mindbogglingly expensive. Most other things are definitely doable if your number one goal in life is being able to afford them, and you work your butt off.

        Most educations can be finished by the time you're 25-30. Which gives you 30-35 years of saving before you're 60. Becoming a millionaire is almost trivial. Without interest you'd need to save around $30K/year which is hard for most people to do, but the magic of compound interest makes it significantly easier.

        If you in

    • Re:Any ideas? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Is there any way for a person born into the 'middle class' of American society (access to education, minimal crime suburban living) to make 20 million, much less 35 million, before they are too old to go to space? Let's arbitrarily choose a cutoff age of 60.

      Starting at age 25, get a reasonably well-paying job like computer programmer, earning $60,000 per year. Pretend that you got a normal job earning $30,000 per year and live the lifestyle of a $30k/year earner. Thanks to taxes, you'll have about $18,0

      • while the math is valid, I"m not sure how someone on a 30 k a year salary can put away 18 every year. Even if they get off easy and only pay 20% to taxes, that leaves disposable inc at 24 K. Now if this person is happy spending the next 40 years living how I did in college, even 18 K left at the end of the year isn't possible. I got away with 400 a month for basic expenses and that included not using AC in the summer and almost no heat in the winter(even when it was 30 degrees outside). Food ran me anot
        • You misunderstood -- I said to get a $60k/year job, and pretend that you have a $30k / year job. I earn $60k / year, and if I invested every other paycheck, I would be putting away over $22k / year. I'm 30 years old. If I were to from here on out pretend that I only made $30k / year, and invest the difference at 12%, I'd have over <pinky>Ten Million Dollars</pinky> in assets by the time I was 65.

          I save at a much lower rate than that, but I also get to drive a nicer car, live in a bigger house
        • If you reread his comment, you'll see that he actually said. He said to save $18k off of a $60k salary.
      • The ROI is too high. 5-7% ROI after inflation is a reasonable return on a wise investment. 15% and 20% includes a great deal of luck or resources that the average "wise" investor doesn't have.
    • there are other jobs that are much quicker at getting to the money. If you have the skills, you can become a trader(like Wall Street) or some other type of banker. If you are willing to work really hard, you can start earning 120K a year at 22. If you are really willing to work hard and get into trading, that can quickly become 750K - 1 million a year by the time you are 26.

      But, its not a job many would want to take. The hours are unappealing for most people. But if you really want it, you can drive to
    • I wonder what other unique life experiences can be had for 15 million. I can't think of anything that costs more than a million, actually. An enormous mansion or private jet doesn't count, that isn't unique enough.

      How 'bout, I don't know, feeding several million people?
      • In a lot of places, that's free since the people feed themselves.
      • Sorry. I meant be a selfish asshole and make a ton of money to greedily get better life experiences for yourself. I know, actually, from experience that it is an empty feeling, spending money on nice stuff for yourself. I just wondered "aloud" what sort of totally new thing you can have happen if you are rich enough. I mean, you can explore the entire world for much less than millions, just plane tickets and basic equipment for the most part. Even buying a jeep, hiring guides, weapons ammo and water to
    • There are two books that you should read on this subject by the same author:
      (Thomas J. Stanley)

      The Millionare Next Door
      ISBN: 0671015206

      The MIllionare Mind
      ISBN: 0740718584

      Basically these books are a list of stats, psychographics, and demographics of currrenty modern millionares.

      One of the reviews:
      "Besides offering insights into millionaires' pinchpenny ways, pleasing quips ("big brain, no bucks"), and 46 statistical charts with catchy titles, Stanley's book booms with human-potential pep talk and bristles wi
  • by celotil ( 972236 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @08:20AM (#15762576) Homepage

    From the summary:

    From the article:

    "Fewer than 450 people have traveled to space, and the club of spacewalkers is even more exclusive. Just 151 people have stepped outside the relative safety of their craft to greet the void with only a visor to separate life and death. 'Spacewalk is the ultimate experience that we've managed to invent as humans,' said Tom Jones, a former astronaut and spacewalker who is an adviser to Space Adventures. Being outside the craft when 'there's nothing between you and the ground below but empty space,' he said, is 'incomparable.'"

    Man, meet Infinity. Infinity, meet Man... Can I get you two something to drink? Perhaps a scotch, or some champagne?

    I think we should send our politicians into space, and I don't mean this as some sort of crass joke about death in a vacuum. We should send up these "World Leaders" and let them see just how small, how fragile our Earth is, how little blue-green haze separates us from the infinite donut, or is it a soccer ball?

    I've had dreams of space, vivid, lucid dreams of being out in the infinite with nothing separating me from the universe - not even a space suit, cause they're dreams you know. I've filled my head with enough pictures of Earth to imagine the sight of our space-faring home, looping and winging it's way through the Big Black in it's slightly off-centre orbit around Sol, our system of planets and star meandering along with the rest of the third arm.

    I'd love to see it for real. I know I probably won't in this life-time, so reincarnation is a nifty thing to wish upon for now.

    The politicians have the money and the resources though. They should go up, climb out of our gravity well and look upon the Earth, see just for themselves what it's like to stare down at their countries and feel the wonder of covering the United States of America, or Australia, with their palm, to blot out the United Kingdom with their thumb.

    They need to feel that wonder, that awe of seeing where we all live and realising that it's a tiny place in the universe, and we should really be focusing our war efforts on peaceful resolutions, scientific colaboration, and a joint effort to get out into our own galaxy, at least, and see if we can really make something of ourselves, rather than squabbling like children in the school yard.

    I'm sorry, I have no real point, I'm rambling.

    • Don't worry about your rambling....it makes more sense than ~99% of the stuff that goes on in here.
    • I think we should send our politicians into space, and I don't mean this as some sort of crass joke about death in a vacuum. We should send up these "World Leaders" and let them see just how small, how fragile our Earth is, how little blue-green haze separates us from the infinite donut, or is it a soccer ball?

      I don't see how this will transform our politicians into anything new. I think this sort of experience is overrated as a way to get people to do what you think they should be doing.
  • How many commercial products can I carry up there? I'd think that the licensing on pictures of me doing air guitar in space with a big ad for some online casino would probably be in the 6 figures at least, and for a network tv ad like a super bowl ad, i could probably come close to making back my investment to go up there.
  • ...where they'll make damn sure the common man can never afford to go!
  • I wonder if Mark Shuttleworth (Thawte, Ubuntu, ...etc.) will go up one more time just for the space walk.

    From what he said, being in space was something he always dreamed about.
  • Do you think 10 million people would pay $20 USD for a year long raffle at chance to walk in space ?
    • Or you could just enter a $15M lottery.
      • Re:Lottery (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Joebert ( 946227 )
        Sure.
        But what about all the people that enjoy gimmicks ?
        Do you think they'd fork over $20 USD for a chance to walk in space ?
        I do, only because I've seen alot of people fork over $20 USD for scratchoff lottery tickets where the prize is $1 million dollars.

        Hell, do you know how many times I've forked over that $20 ? I had a stack of tickets 2 inches thick before I gave up.

        Sure, Slashdot readers might not like the idea of buying a ticket, maybe some would, but you can't deny that lottery tickets have
  • Ten thousand for a 1 day trip plus all the training, etc.? Twenty years? Fifty years? Think how far we've come in the last 10 years w/computers. Space technology hasn't progressed much and it needs to take a leap soon. I really hope it's within reach for us all before we're gone. I think it will happen because of all the commercial interest that is generating new and creative designs. I'd like to be in Star Fleet at some point.
  • "Spacewalk is the ultimate experience that we've managed to invent as humans"

    Ha! Author obviously doesn't own a GeForce 7900GTX, and/or he's never tried pot. There is nothing like pot..
  • I'll need another penny jar now. Ah well.

  • So, what, did they finally add an S2 engine?
  • While I am all for man exploring the universe and getting off this lovely rock (we could use an off-site backup of our species), I find space tourism to be utterly repugnant. It's a gross example of environmental destruction in exchange for personal fulfillment. How many thousands of gallons of fuel will be ignited, leaving exhaust to circle the globe, so that some rich ponce can float about for a bit and subsequently be the toast of his next Manhattan cocktail party..

    "Yes," he'll nod to his circle of gaw
    • Over-reacting much?

      Last I heard the space tourists didn't go up on a special launch just for them, they went up on a mission that was already scheduled... so the fuel would of been burnt anyway.

      As for the travelling around the world... you just come of sounding like a jealous jerk with that little rant... dotting feces around the landscape... oh yea, that is going to have an impact... unlike the millions of animals doing exactly that daily.

      I hope you drive some nice fuel-efficient vehicle... or better yet b
      • Wrong, wrong, my good chum.
        Space tourism is a whole new industry that's completely separate from the tag-along flights that Mark Shuttleworth, et al, did. Have you heard of Virgin's space tourism program or have you been living in a cave for the last 3 years with your sunglasses on and your fingers in your ears?
        And the fuel wouldn't have "been burned anyway" as you so blithely put it. There's a very exact ratio of pounds of fuel needed to get 1lb into orbit.

        As far as traveling abroad, yes, I'm a little di
  • In other news, NASA launched a three year program to explore MySpace.

    --
  • If I had that kind of money I wouldn't pay $15mil to boost Russia's economy. Instead, I'd invest in Scaled Composites space endeavors, and as part of the agreement for that investment I'd require several rides. By doing that, not only would I be earning a return down the road, I'd get a few joyrides, be involved in new technology rather than getting a joyride in 40+ year old technology, and helping to ensure that private space flights become commonplace and more accessible to all. Do you think Russia is goi
  • Just 151 people have stepped outside the relative safety of their (space)craft to greet the void with only a visor to separate life and death.

    Only a visor? I think this number is off by 151.

    :wq
  • Every week I spend a dollar on a hope and a dream and buy a powerball lottery ticket. This week the jackpot is 116 million. If I were to win, and take the lump sum payment which is 58 million. Then subtract 50% for federal and state taxes which leaves me with 29 million. not enough for the 20+15 million to go spacewalk.
    • My favorite saying, "You can't lose if you don't play." My second favorite, when buying a lotto ticket - "Yes, only one, that way I only lose a dollar.".

      Remember, the Powerball Lotto is not "a fair bet" until the jackpot approches $300M, or so (taxes not included).

      You already seem to have a firm grasp on the time value of money and the tax issue. Just thought I'd toss in a buck of cold odds.

      ("Fair Bet" defined as expected payout = cost. E.g. 1/142 millionth of a dollar per dollar wagered.)

      • Yeah, I have a good grasp on how the lottery works.

        And whenever I go to Vegas with friends I am the only one who ever comes back with money because the only gambling i do is the very minimum I need to put into a video poker machine to get free drinks at the bar. If i lose, well I would have spent it on drinks anyways, and if i win.. well then I got free drinks and cash.

        It always makes me sad when the Powerball gets really high and I see all these people rushing out to spend hundreds of dollars on tic
        • when the Powerball gets really high and I see all these people rushing out to spend hundreds of dollars on tickets.. thinking they are making an investment or that they are increasing their chances.

          Technically, you are better off spending, say $52 on lotto tickets on one draw where the prize is "big", rather than one per week, when the prize is way too low vs the odds.

          1 ticket = 1 chance in 142 million, 2 tickets = 1 chance in 71 million, etc... assuming you don't pick the same numbers on each ticket,

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson

Working...