What they think of space tourism in Savannah

The “Vox Populi” section of today’s Savannah Morning News provides responses from residents of the Georgia city to this question: “Entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari paid a reported $10 million to be the first private female space tourist to the international space station. If tourist travel to the stars becomes affordably feasible in our lifetime, would you want to reserve a vacation in space?” ($10 million?) The responses indicate that readers (or the editors, as they selected the responses to publish) gave her flight less than unconditional support, either providing humorous responses (“I would like to reserve a permanent vacation in space for my son-in-law.”) or being outright critical. A couple examples of the latter:

“I would not reserve a vacation even if it were free, because one day they are going to go up there and they’re not coming back down.”

“I think she is a selfish person to spend $10 million on this. She could have put her money to more good by helping others.”

That last comment has popped up in Ansari’s blog several times, with people suggesting that her money would be better spent on other endeavors. (Like what Katie Couric thinks about NASA.) That prompted a post by Peter Diamandis earlier this week. “The fact is that Anousheh’s support of private spaceflight is not a whim, but the fulfillment of a dream that will yield very positive long-term implications for humanity,” he writes.

4 comments to What they think of space tourism in Savannah

  • Chance

    I smell the familiar wiff of hypocrisy. I wonder how much money these critical people make? I wonder how many own an SUV they don’t need? I wonder how many bought a big screen tv instead of giving the 2K to charity? I wonder how many went out to eat last night instead of eating a sald and giving their dining out money away? I am not a conservative, but it is her money and as long as she has paid her taxes and doesn’t hurt anybody else with it, she should be able to do as she wishes.

  • I agree with Chance.

    In addition, by buying commercial space services, she _is_ helping both the larger space endeavor and the interests of commercial space.

    That said, even if I had $20+ million, I probably would not fly to the Space Station. I’d love to go, but the six months it would take out of my regular life (and away from my friends and partners and the garden and that cats) to do the training would be an insurmountable barrier. (That circum lunar trip, however, might be another story!)

    — Donald

  • Peter Shearer

    How could it possibly BE selfish? She already had the money in her bank! Of course the bank was loaning that money out spurring the economy but making a sizeable profit for themselves (ahh, bankers and their yachts) but now that full amount of money is spurring the economy (Russian economy though…). Of course this in turn is what’s keeping the Russian space program online as well as the International space station (let’s face it, NASA is crippled even with the shuttle “up and running”). The science conducted on the space station helps make medicines better to HELP people. Etc etc…

  • I think she should spend the money buying space flights for people of all means. That’s what I’m doing.

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