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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Space Cadets

 Richard Branson is a big kid with the big dream of commercial space travel . He has come up with these carbon-composite uber-planes that he is convinced will take people into space . His idea is to remove the exclusivity associated with space flights .
  At $200 000 a pop , roughly the value of the house I live in . And rich people with nothing better to waste their money on are forking the dough over so they can get a spot on the maiden voyage of the hypothetical spaceship made out of the same thing as the toes of my workboots.
  With 3 days of training or less and that's IT.
  Astronauts are some of the highest trained and fittest members of our planet for a reason - because space flight requires such things . The life-or-death nature of such scientific flight brings a kinship that 2 or 3 days of hanging with the other guys cannot bring . In fact , the lack of needed training is the SELLING POINT.
If I'm gonna be chilling above the atmosphere , I WANT the best training that I know costs far more than $200 000 .
  Right now , all that Richard Branson promises is that you can hang out with media types and most importantly , hang with the man whose ego seriously could use some gravity.
  Even IF he accomplishes his dream , you won't see me lining up to hop on the maiden voyage of his craft or any other method of travel . This is something I don't want to be first at  . The Titanic was an example of overambition costing vast numbers of lives on it's very first trip , and there are countless others . 

I DO engage in some risk-taking behaviour , but I'm trained correctly to do so and aware that there is a possibility , however small , that the worst could happen . I have a job that kills people every day and have arrangements made in case I am seriously injured or killed . This is the responsible thing to do . Irresponsible is taking a bunch of people into an unknown and claiming that it is completely without danger . There is inherent danger whenever you push the boundaries of science and nature and it may well be criminal to sell people safety that simply cannot be guaranteed. The LAST place I want to be on the second of my demise is with a bunch of freaked-out suits who have been lied to.

In the hypothetical event that Branson gets his wish , you can count me OUT.

 If I want 6 minutes of potentially-fatal fun , I'll hire a hooker.

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