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One small step for man, one giant leap for Tito.
April 27, 2001 7:38 AM   Subscribe

One small step for man, one giant leap for Tito. It looks like the American millionaire is actually going to make it to space despite NASA objecting. The launch is scheduled for tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and he'll be held responsible if he breaks anything while he's up there.
posted by the_ill_gino (12 comments total)

 
This is so cool. I hope he has a wonderful time! Too bad the U.N. has virtually banned commercial exploitation of space, though, so that us regulars won't be able to do similar trips anytime soon. Kind of like banning Columbus from travelling to the Americas, if you ask me.
posted by frednorman at 7:48 AM on April 27, 2001


Oops, bad analogy. To an unpopulated New World, I mean.
posted by frednorman at 7:50 AM on April 27, 2001


I have no idea what NASA fears, all I think it gives is excuse for the conspiracy loons to project there might be secret alien crafts in space that they don't want people to see, others may say it's just Jesus. Whatever the case it looks suspicious.

Isn't there a contest going though? Commercial re-usable space craft under a certain price? I think the reward was pretty big on that. Certainly encourages people to try, I think space should be left to the people, private sector has a much better grasp on plausible solutions, and those usually have a better chance to get farther. Too bad Panam is out of business. *sigh*

Btw, I was just thinking, paintball in space might be fun, except say you're traveling at these high speeds, the paint shot comes out at a certain speed and keeps on going, the person that it'll hit will probably just have a hole burnt through then?

Any other dangerous space games you can think of?
posted by tiaka at 8:09 AM on April 27, 2001


NASA is just angry that he's pulling an end-run, and he's doing it during the difficult construction phase of the station. They'd likely have much less of a problem if he were to wait until the ISS crew capability is 6 or 7 and half payload/science people. Plus, Russia has caused enough problems for them over the years as a partner that NASA gets ticked off when they act cheeky.

Additionally, NASA has a corps of over 100 astronauts who wait typically 3-5 years between scarce and scarcer flights. It's a slap in the face for their morale.

I tend to think it's OK for him to go, it's really up to Russia, but this maybe wasn't the best time to pick. They should have taken him to Mir while they still could.
posted by dhartung at 11:07 AM on April 27, 2001


Tiaka, the X Prize Foundation has so far raised over five million dollars for its reusable spacecraft contest.

Zero gravity Battleship would be a real pain, because someone invariably spills all the pieces at some point during the game.
posted by Aaaugh! at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2001


Must be nice to have $20M to blow on the World's Biggest Joyride.

Good for Tovarisch Tito; good for the Russian space guys who could use a non-rubber paycheck for a change.
posted by briank at 12:12 PM on April 27, 2001


Too bad the U.N. has virtually banned commercial exploitation of space, though...

You don't really think the UN is going to be able to do anything about it once the technology makes it economically feasible, do you?
posted by aaron at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2001



I've long dreamed (as I suspect have most of you) of floating weightless some 200 hundred miles above the earth's surface, but at this point in our technological progress, I must confess that I'm wary of opening up space exploration/colonization to private companies.

Given the long list of atrocities inflicted upon humanity and our environment for the sake of a corporate buck, I'm not sure I trust a commercial entity to act any more responsibly outside our atmosphere than they typically do within it. Imagine an unplanned Mir de-orbit like the Firestone tire debacle (shareholder interests before public safety), and perhaps you'll share my apprehension. Even NASA gets a little too greedy and impatient sometimes, as evidenced by the Challenger explosion.

This is not to say that I'm against space tourism or private exploration, but as with any venture with the economic opportunities that space activity presents, I trust a CEO no farther than I could throw her. Even in 1/6th the gravity.
posted by johnnyace at 10:18 PM on April 27, 2001


I'd wish NASA would tell the Russians to sod off. What was once a great space program is now a pathetic shell.
posted by owillis at 10:22 PM on April 27, 2001


Must be nice to have $20M to blow on the World's Biggest Joyride.

Yeah, but for his US$20 million he'll come back with a fluffy, embroidered robe and some of those little soaps.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:30 AM on April 28, 2001


Yeah, but for his US$20 million he'll come back with a fluffy, embroidered robe and some of those little soaps

Cool. Do you suppose they have those little bags of Macadamia nuts on the honor bar, too? I'll bet they only cost $3M....
posted by briank at 6:00 AM on April 28, 2001


NASA, a once proud agency, now has degraded into a typical hack government agency jealously protecting its turf. I didn't hear them treating Senator Garn or Rep. Nelson (or Senator Glenn, for that matter) like an unwelcome houseguest when they dragged their non-astronaut asses up into space.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:20 AM on May 1, 2001


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