We're Really Sending More Rich Guys Into Space Right Now
Annoyed, I assume, by the influx of new-money influencers into their usual places of refuge, the obscenely rich seem to have gone in search of a new, completely unattainable vacation spot, and they’ve settled on: space. Over the past couple of years we hear more and more about the outrageously moneyed taking a quick blast out of the atmosphere, I assume in search of knowing that they’re as physically far away from the poor as possible. However, this already obnoxious practice used to be more solidly in the realm of a “ugh” or possibly a “c’mon man.” With the current state of the world, I think it’s fully graduated to an “are you $#&@ing kidding me.”
Stuff is verifiably not great right now. In the immortal words of Smash Mouth, “my world’s on fire.” Unlike them, though, that’s not the way I like it, regardless of how bored I get. Those of us serfs doomed to spend our lives on the earth’s crust and not above it are still dealing with what we HOPE is the tail end of a global pandemic, massive inflation, and a war that keeps winking coyly at the existence of Russian nuclear weapons. No one wants to watch a man with the net worth of a small country ride a galactic roller coaster, and we definitely don’t want to watch them do it knowing it cost them $55 million dollars a pop.
But that’s exactly what SpaceX did this week, launching 3 businessmen along with an astronaut tour guide up to the International Space Station for some zero-gravity sight-seeing. But hey, maybe they’ll look out the window, see that famous pale blue dot, and suddenly have an epiphany on the scale of the universe and the rare odds of our existence, and come back to Earth changed men with a mission to unite our little rock. Or maybe they’ll just be like “Wow, the poor look even more like ants than they usually do to me! Cool!”
The travelers reportedly are pushing back on being described as “space tourists” because they each have a number of experiments they’re expected to complete while on the space station. Oh, they each get a little worksheet! Cute! It’s like when my dad ripped off a piece of office stationery for me at take-your-kid-to-work-day! I’m sure NASA will be grateful for your doodles of cool dragons. Though honestly, that might be better than spiking the scientific integrity of real experiments by having them done by someone who hasn’t opened their own office door in a decade.