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Phloston Paradise - for real?
May 1, 2001 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Phloston Paradise - for real? Now that that multimillionaire tourist got his way into space (brother, money changes everything, huh?) talk about "space hotels" is over the table again. Seemingly, no one has ever thought of lack of oxygen or gravity in outer space... or have been watching Fifth Element reruns a little too much.
posted by betobeto (9 comments total)

 
If they're charging tens of millions of dollars, all I can say is it better come with Milla Jovovitch :P
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:28 AM on May 1, 2001


All this news about Tito going up, and Joe Sixpack is going to start calling his congressman and demanding a ride into space for everybody. At first, the congressman will laugh... and as publicity mounts (and so does public interest), the congressmen will start to notice. Then, one particularily smart one will go, "Gee, if I make space a part of my campaign platform, I might get elected, because people are interested in space!" and he'll make some campaign promises and maybe he'll fulfill some of them... and THEN any scientist who wants to can get into space and work on a new space platform or something, and someday even Joe Sixpack will be able to go up and float around for a few minutes... for a couple of hundred bucks.
posted by SpecialK at 11:47 AM on May 1, 2001


The problem here is that the U.N. has virtually banned commercial exploitation of outer space altogether. That's partly why the prices for space tourism are currently so outrageous; because the level of activity in space is so low, and because it is all going through highly inefficient (and partly corrupt) government agencies.

If we'd scrap both the U.N. Outer Space Treaty and the U.N. Moon Treaty, privatize NASA (and lower taxes as a result) and then let people colonize whatever hell they want to colonize, we'd see prices dropping like a rock. Well, at least like a rock on the moon.
posted by frednorman at 2:12 PM on May 1, 2001


Hallelujah, frednorman! Although I have no desire whatsoever to travel into space, I salute Tito's commitment, desire, and ability to parlay his efforts (read: work) into fulfilling his dream, and I'd wager that he will inspire many others.
(Me, I get nervous standing on a thick rug.)
posted by davidmsc at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2001


Then again, maybe it wouldn't be such a hot idea...
posted by Aaaugh! at 3:07 PM on May 1, 2001


Uh, fred:

1) Nothing in the Outer Space Treaty forbids space hotels. Though it is somewhat dated, being drafted in a time when all such exploration was quasi-military government activity. Mainly the treaty is about not starting wars in space, or fighting them from there.

2) The "UN" has not banned anything. The "UN" has no power to ban anything. The only reason anything would be "banned" by the Outer Space Treaty is because our government signed it, along with other governments, and under the Constitution Senate-approved treatys have the equivalent of law.

The main impediment to the average person getting into space is the cost of getting him there. The main reason those costs are so large is, well, speeding someone from 1,000 mph (equatorial rotation speed) to 17,500 mph is pretty darned hard to do. Launch costs could come down, but only if the economic incentive is there. For a few years, money was pouring into the launch market, because of satellite constellations (hey, aren't those "commercial activities"?) such as Iridium and Globalstar. But when the bottom fell out of their communications markets, and it became clear the launch business just wasn't going to be there, the rocketry companies lost their funding.

Russia is the most capitalist of all the space programs at the moment, but even for them it costs $20 million. (That doesn't even begin to cover the cost of a Soyuz launch, but it's hard currency, which is more valuable to Russia(ns) at the moment; plus it's free money on top of a launch they were already committed to.) If Russia really needed to completely support space launches through paying customers, the cost per ride would have to be at least $50 million and probably closer to $100 million -- keeping in mind that you won't have more than one customer per Soyuz. If the Russians can't make it cheaper, well, probably nobody can for the foreseeable future.
posted by dhartung at 6:10 PM on May 1, 2001


$20 million later and I loved Tito's comment to camera:

"I feel very privileged..."
posted by lagado at 7:19 PM on May 1, 2001


i want a groovy concert by the Diva Plava LaGuna in a perfect replica of the old opera house ("....but who cares!") followed by the ship being taken over by Mangalores and Korben Dallas ("anyone else wanna negotiate?") coming to save the day. And then the ship has to be blown up by a gazilionaire business man by the name of Zorg who dressed badly ("if you want something done - do it yourself!").. If I dont get these things i will feel that i havent got my moneys worth.

hands up if you've seen t5e too many times!

"now its time for korben to say the word of the day.....so are you happy here in the big world?"
posted by endorwitch at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2001


1) Nothing in the Outer Space Treaty forbids space hotels.

Not directly, I agree, but indirectly it prohibits any and all commercial exploitation (and colonization) of outer space -- including space hotels.

2) The "UN" has not banned anything. The "UN" has no power to ban anything. The only reason anything would be "banned" by the Outer Space Treaty is because our government signed it, along with other governments, and under the Constitution Senate-approved treatys have the equivalent of law.

My concern is not with who banned it, but rather that it is banned in the first place. If you read these treaties closely, after all, they prohibit bascially any and all commercial exploitation of outer space -- and that's just plain insane if you ask me.

We should let people colonize whatever hell (uninhabitated) they want to colonize in space.
posted by frednorman at 10:38 PM on May 1, 2001


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