Turns Out Babysitting Billionaire Space Tourists Sucks
Space tourism is the hottest new thing among the insanely, obnoxiously rich, and it’s something that, given the sorry state of the world at the moment, is sticking in the craw of the less opulent observers. Here on this very site I recently covered one of these very launches, one where the fat cats aboard reacted negatively to the term “space tourist,” pushing back by explaining that they had little worksheets and experiments to do when they were up there. I ever-so-gently suggested that maybe having non-scientists involved in the day-to-day of the ISS crew might be less than efficient, (something that CEOs would usually start layoffs about) and it turns out… that is exactly what happened.
Yes, the same way it would probably take Jeff Bezos a half-hour to pack one of the orders he expects a warehouse worker to do in 35 seconds with a spinal injury, it turns out these non-scientist billionaires were not exceptionally good at science. Some of the experiments reportedly took over twice as long as expected. Not only did the actual astronauts have to check their Omega Speedmasters impatiently as these bigwigs bumbled through their chemistry kits, because of occupancy limitations in testing modules, their big boy space science fair projects actually put the genuine ISS astronauts behind schedule on their real experiments. If there was any space tourism I would want to do, it would be right after they left so that I could hear the astronauts talking s**t about the idiots that were just up there.
So, now that everyone’s been debriefed, and it’s clear that maybe the International Space Station isn’t the most useful place to have some oil baron bouncing around, what’s the conclusion of everyone involved? Well, the president of Axiom Space, Michael Suffredini, said, “Over time, we’ll reduce what the crew has to do.” How about we just stop pretending, full stop, right now? If somebody wants to spend the GDP of a small country to go up, look at the blue marble, and watch their piss float around, either take the money and let them, or don’t. Nobody needs to pretend they’re some sort of helpful space temp.