February 20, 2002
5:15 AM   Subscribe

Lance Bass of N'Sync is to be the youngest person ever to fly in space. The flight is expected to cost $20 million and will involve a flight on a Soyuz taxi mission to the ISS in November 2002. And no, it is not the first of April.
posted by adrianhon (42 comments total)
Or "NSynch" as the band is apparently known to space geeks. Hmm.
posted by ChrisTN at 5:31 AM on February 20, 2002

So, we did vote him off the island, then?
posted by allpaws at 5:42 AM on February 20, 2002

When you go to the page that lists the "guidelines" for visitors to the International Space Station, you find this:

"The following list defines some of the factors that would be considered as a basis for disqualification: ... (b) criminal, dishonest, infamous, or notoriously disgraceful conduct"

If singing for N'Sync isn't "notoriously disgraceful conduct," I don't know what is.
posted by pardonyou? at 5:55 AM on February 20, 2002

Those In Sink boys sure get a fuckload of money for the tripe they record. Twenty million US bucks for a vacation?

I hope they don't sell seats this way for the first colonizing ships. Many generations later, the spawn of these Lance and Britney types might come back to earth and frighten the bejeebus out of us with some sort of unearthly caterwaul.

Of course, if we could guarantee a one-way trip...
posted by pracowity at 6:05 AM on February 20, 2002

And who says we didn't need more missle defense tests?
posted by adampsyche at 6:07 AM on February 20, 2002

At least there'll be somewhere he can take tea.
posted by jonathanbell at 6:18 AM on February 20, 2002

Though NASA has long been prickly about space tourism, Rand Simberg has suggested they consider it, with a proposal for a 30-person passenger compartment to fit in a shuttle bay. Rand thinks they could get the cost per passenger down as low as $10 million, which would put it in the range of perhaps even disgraced Enron execs. :-S

(Rand's not just blowing smoke; he works in the industry and has long been a proponent of privatized launch systems that would, through innovation and competition, significantly bring down the cost to orbit per pound.)

Of course, not even the Russians' price of $20 million really covers their marginal costs, but it's still a country where hard currency is worth many times the equivalent in scrip.
posted by dhartung at 6:41 AM on February 20, 2002

If there is even a 1% chance he could accidentally get "lost" or fall out an airlock up there, I say we go for it!
posted by Maxor at 6:43 AM on February 20, 2002

Maybe they'll make him sit throught that horrible movie he made on the flight.
posted by Werd7 at 6:59 AM on February 20, 2002

(it's so obvious, but no one has said it yet...)
if you can shoot ONE boy-band member into space why can't you shoot them all?!?
posted by mikemonteiro at 6:59 AM on February 20, 2002

Hey, if I could earn $20 million for singing and get into space with it, I'd do it. And MeFi writers would probably want to see me dead, too. Methinks jealousy (of the space trip, not the songs) is a bit active here...
posted by mdeatherage at 7:04 AM on February 20, 2002

mdeatherage: I'll let you slide on using the word "methinks", but as to your point, *ptthhppt* -- if we can't make fun of boy bands (who must know they are walking jokes to anyone other than pre-teen girls) -- who can we make fun of?
posted by malphigian at 7:12 AM on February 20, 2002

mdeatherage: Unfortunately, yeah, I am jealous. If we really needed further proof that the universe wasn't fair, I'd have preferred that it didn't pee on the universal boyhood fantasy.
posted by shagoth at 7:12 AM on February 20, 2002

At least there'll be somewhere he can take tea.

How about "no tea"?
posted by bkdelong at 7:14 AM on February 20, 2002

I am surprised no one here realises that this is a page ripped from Superman IV. We are disarming the world, and sending out the hazardous material into space, one piece at a time. Global teen pop disarmament has begun, albeit this is a test run, wait till you see the security precautions when they tackle the Spice Girls.
posted by riffola at 7:21 AM on February 20, 2002

it's boy band celebrities that make men jealous. never mind those other multi-millionaire egomaniacal spoiled white guys with $20 million bucks to burn who are ushering in the long-awaited international space tourism industry. they can't sing.

but i can see why nsynch and lance bass need to do this. if the boppy music and those hot little bods won them the screaming adoration of pre-teen girls everywhere, this trip to low earth orbit will forever secure their place in cosmic stardom by capturing the hearts of the planet's pre-teen boys.

now that's world domination.
posted by jellybuzz at 7:38 AM on February 20, 2002

now that's world domination.
I thought we were talking about Lance Bass not Lance Arthur.
posted by riffola at 7:47 AM on February 20, 2002

People seem to be missing the point. We're back to doing real science again.

In much the same way that we had to send up a chimp before we could send up a man, we have to send up a boy band before we can send up Brittany. Why Brittany? Well think about it. She has already demonstrated a resistance to gravity. What happens when she gets into a low gravity environment? Could it be Anit-gravity. This is the propulsion source that's finally going to get us past C people.
posted by willnot at 7:56 AM on February 20, 2002

it's britney, not brittany.

i so hate the knee-jerk reaction that certain musical acts get around here. like, okay, wow, you are SO LIKE COOL for not liking nsync, that's totally radically out there, that opinion! man, watch your cool points just skyrocket into the stratosphere! what's next, are you going to rail against 'manufactured' music?

anyway i wonder how much lance bass will be counseled by dennis tito.
posted by maura at 8:03 AM on February 20, 2002

it is kind of a waste of a time to say boy band music sucks. because it's boy band music! everyone knows it sucks! except the folks buying it, which is a good indication of how dumb the next generation is gonna be.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:09 AM on February 20, 2002

everyone knows it sucks. I don't, I like boy bands. I'm 24 and a jazz musician, I'm quite certain I'm not dumb either.

Look at it from a songwriters point of view. For every 5,000 songs that get pitched to N'Syncs people, 100 will get shortlisted. Of those 13 appear on an album. For those talented 13 songwriters, they have written a song good enough to appeal to millions of teenagers. You try and do it, it's not that easy to write hit singles. Add that to the production elements and a hell of a lot of talent goes into those albums.

There is no difference between boy bands of today and the Tempations and their brethren that relied on Tin Pan Alley for their songs in the early 60's. The only difference is todays bands work longer hours, have tougher dance routines, and more demanding media schedules. I say good on Lance, he works damn hard for his success, and he can do whatever the hell he wants.
posted by remlapm at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2002

If there's anything good that can come out of this, it's that he gets the kids that like NSYNC's music interested in science a little more. If he wanted to, he could turn this into a big learning/teaching opportunity and he'd have a lot more of my respect anyway.
posted by almostcool at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2002

While at first glance I'm quite horrified by the thought, part of me looks at the longer term gain. If an entire generation of kids suddenly experiences new interest and curiosity about space and exploration as a result of this Lance-capade, hopefully this would translate into real support for the dwindling space program in this country. Personally, I'd like to see NASA's budget grow and we resume the pace of exploration and man into space that we were doing back in the 60s and 70s when space was big.

"Dude. Space is cool."
posted by warhol at 8:29 AM on February 20, 2002

hundred bucks says they throw him out of the airlock.
posted by trioperative at 8:36 AM on February 20, 2002

sorry to rain on the parade, but
'There is also an environmental cost to space exploration. The chemical fuels used by rocket boosters result in a witch's brew of toxic compounds that disperse into the atmosphere. While NASA's Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) exhaust is comprised of mainly water vapor (from the chemical combination of the liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuels), the solid-fuelled boosters create a toxic plume of hydrochloric acid and aluminum oxide. This toxic plume forced NASA to move its VIP viewing stands to approximately four miles from the launch site. Each launch also generates over 4,000 tons of toxic wastes (primarily in the form of contaminated noise-suppression water).'

So, feel free to develop some new, less environmentally catastophic, propulsion technologies before pursuing any flash gordon fantasies.

relapm - i am sure a great deal of effort goes into making synthetic pop-groups offerings as acceptable as possible to their primary audience of hormonally challenged pre-teens. i just think that that is a whole lot of talent going to waste. the performers are indeed the lucky ones.
posted by asok at 9:28 AM on February 20, 2002

I think I speak for space-geeks all over the planet when I say: bastard!
posted by Hogshead at 9:30 AM on February 20, 2002

except the folks buying it, which is a good indication of how dumb the next generation is gonna be.

whoa -- remember these guys? and her? and what about them? maybe i'm underestimating your age, but I'm guessing most late 20th century generations had beloved teeny-bopper bands in one form or another.

(ah, i suppose i'll never overcome the shame of listening constantly to milli vanilli at the young age of 11. well, i blame it on the rain, girl.)
posted by fishfucker at 9:41 AM on February 20, 2002

I seem to remember a jerkcity comic strip which noted that "the kids today are significantly more stoned than their forefathers", in reference to NASA engineers. I think we'd do well to keep the stoned factor in mind when we read these articles.

In other news, NASA sends a Carl Sagan PiƱata into orbit above the bong.
posted by Settle at 10:23 AM on February 20, 2002

< praying for horrible accident>...< /praying for horrible accident>
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 10:47 AM on February 20, 2002

I am reminded of the old Muppet Show.....

*space-ish music starts*
*capsule flies by*

Boy Bands In Space!! (space..space...space)
posted by ebarker at 10:52 AM on February 20, 2002

Forget about the Boy Band sucks argument for a split second and ask yourself this, "Why the hell is this a front page post? How could THIS possibly be worth a spot on the front page?"

Thank you for your time; please continue to bash N'Sync.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:03 AM on February 20, 2002

It's only a front page post because people needed an excuse this week to bash *N Sync. I think there's a bit of jealousy around here too.

We need another "boy band bashing" thread like we need another pancake post...
posted by lnicole at 11:17 AM on February 20, 2002

<span class="envy">Hmph... I never wanted to go to space anyway.</span>
posted by Tubes at 11:48 AM on February 20, 2002

Bluetrain: I posted this link because when I saw it on Spaceref, I was practically stunned speechless. This had nothing to do with the perceived suckiness of N'Sync, but it had everything to do with the fact that the economics and politics of space travel are now at such a state where popstars can go into orbit - where presumably they think they'll make some of their $20 million back.

This is not the same as Dennis Tito going up, since Dennis has much more cash than Lance and has tried all his life to get into space. While I don't know anything about Lance's space interests, he has not taken the traditional route to getting into space and can instead buy his way there. Lance is also extremely young, well-known and popular (to some) - this should elevate space's coolness factor somewhat in the eyes of the youth.

I assumed that there would be some at Metafilter who would also find this very interesting, and I knew that this hadn't hit the traditional media outlets so it was definitely 'fresh' news. Admittedly, the fact that people don't like N'Sync also crossed my mind.

If this link shouldn't be here, then perhaps the post about N'Sync being in Star Wars shouldn't have been made. Take a look at the other posts made today or this week - most have far fewer comments than this one, and are arguably less suitable for posting. But what do I know, eh?
posted by adrianhon at 12:28 PM on February 20, 2002

Forget sending him to space. Let's put him in a Bass-O-Matic.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:40 PM on February 20, 2002

My fault...after I read your post, I realized that the post was good, the comments sucked. Talking about N'Sync around here is like speaking of religion or politics. Eventually it's just a back and forth of trolls.

/humble apology

On a more relevent note, this could incite a new generation of space freaks. The last 20 years have shown a dying of space enthusiasm; maybe more kids, (probably little girls) will want to become astronauts now.
posted by BlueTrain at 12:44 PM on February 20, 2002

I hate 'NSYNC because I'm not a 10 year old girl or a marketing major.

Hey, I don't have a problem with this guy spending this money however he wants.It's his money.

Well, of course I'm jealous.I could use $20 million for something, couldn't you?

As far as space travel goes, this is just the future starting to happen isn't it?Commercial space travel has to start somewhere.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 12:49 PM on February 20, 2002

what, did they run out of monkeys?
posted by tsarfan at 2:57 PM on February 20, 2002

yes. yes, they did run out of monkeys.

wait, there's one left.... whoops, too late.

posted by gohlkus at 4:06 PM on February 20, 2002

AlmostCool: "If he wanted to, he could turn this into a big learning/teaching opportunity and he'd have a lot more of my respect anyway."

I will preface this with a disclaimer that not all young people are the same. Each is an individual. Some (I happen to believe most) will fit the stereotypes depicted below. Where you sense otherwise, just understand that absolutes get points across and should not be taken literally in all cases. There are exceptions to the rule. Your mileage may vary. Blah blah blah. Okay.

The reason mindless expressions of commercialism like N'Sync are popular with the younger generation is precisely because it's not an education opportunity. Young people listen to this kind of music because it's not preachy. They get preached at all the time by their parents and teachers and anyone older than thirty who believes it their responsibility to educate. Young people are sick and tired of anything that's good for them. They purposefully and actively seek out anything that isn't good for them. It's a form of rebellion and a form of retaining their sense of individuality and uniqueness.

They're not cookie cutter. They shouldn't be ushered through the scholastic system like cattle, but that's precisely how adults treat them. And we wonder why they don't trust us. Why we're the enemy.

N'Sync music annoys me for the same reasons they embrace it. It talks about love and lust and very basic concepts in bland ways which do not stretch the imagination or enrich the mind and soul.

If Lance turned this into an opportunity to get on a soap box, he would become unpopular very fast. Madonna's still popular with some young people because she never got preachy. She was raunchy and sacreligious and rebellious and crazy. The very things parents don't want their children to be. To a young person, Madonna's a hell of a lot more honest than the adults in their every day lives.

If they wanted an artist that would teach them about how important space sciences are, Clarke, Asimov and Sagan would be their role models.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:40 PM on February 20, 2002

You know it's jealousy when the jokes are so retarded, redundant, and not even the least bit funny.
posted by Mach3avelli at 8:44 PM on February 20, 2002

Come on, the Bass-O-Matic thing was pretty funny.

Lance Bass. Bass-O-Matic?

Never mind.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:50 PM on February 20, 2002

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