The Ultimate Vacation?

I’ve always had a fascination with space. Every since I was a kid, I’d love to go to the local college planetarium and watch the shows they put on. I was glued to the TV set at home when there was a Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo launch. And yes, I’d fake illnesses to be able to stay home and watch the coverage. One of the greatest thrills I’ve had was when I got to meet John Glenn, who was a Senator from Ohio at the time. I thought it was really neat that my son went to the University of Cincinnati and majored in computer engineering…they had a great school for that. They also had a great school for aeronautical engineering…and had Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon as a professor.

So, it’s with extreme interest that I watch all of the move toward the privatization of space. Companies like SpaceX are routinely shooting rockets to the heavens, and are making strides to compete with countries that are also getting into the space race. And now, it’s been unveiled that if you want…YOU can go into space. But of course, it’ll be more costly than an around the world cruise on Silver Sea! The cost is about $35,000 per night, and could run upwards of $50 million by the time the next space craft comes up to pick you up!

The question then becomes, forget about the cost…would you want to go spend time on the international space station? They figure that just hooking up to the oxygen sources aboard the space station would cost about $11,250 per day. All of the other amenities like food, medical, the trip itself to get there, using the bathroom, etc. would run you about another $22,500 a day. That’s a lot of scratch, but it certainly would be a once in a lifetime type of trip!

Somehow, as I’ve gotten older though, I start to wonder whether I would really want to go up in space at all. Maybe it’s the old age creeping up on me, but the stuff I used to do when I was younger, just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Oh, I still would love to watch space coverage, and I love watching when a satellite is in the farthest reaches of our solar system, sending back beautiful images. The Hubble Telescope is a remarkable tool that provides an unbelievable glimpse into the heavens beyond our little marble. But to say I still would like to go through the training, and the riggers of space travel, even at the rock bottom price of $35k a day? I’m thinking that would be a hard pass.

First of all, I’m not so sure my wife would like it. Hell, I wanted to race stock cars when I was younger and because I had a bad back, she was totally against it. Of course, she thought I would get into a terrific crash and die on her with two kids to raise. Yeah… that wasn’t going to happen. And I’m sure that even now, with the kids grown and raised that she’d be against it.

Still, it would be kinda cool to make the trip just once…maybe for a day. Maybe they could charge me by the hour? Nah…that rings too much like a cheap motel!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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