Suddenly there is a scramble for space travel. The
It is well accepted that manned space flights have one of the least returns among the various branches of science. So what can explain such a revival of the space race? One may argue that it is part of a grand scheme by the fat people to establish a world of their own; after all in space, they can eat as much as they want and still be weightless. But on second thoughts, it appears to be rather linked to the housing market bubble in most countries before the present financial crisis. Prior to 2008, when land prices in earth went skyrocketing, the prospect of buying an acre of land in moon for only $29.99 (offered by Lunar Embassy) must have seemed irresistible to the space scientists and politicians who financed these programs. But those were the days when “credit crunch” sounded more like a breakfast cereal.
This increased momentum with space travel also brings about many unusual challenges. Last year, when the first Malaysian went to space, Muslim religious leaders had to come with special provisions to overcome challenges like kneeling while praying in a weightless environment, facing towards
Nevertheless, despite popular perception, cost of basic space travel remains far below other luxuries in life. A sub-orbital trip costs only $102,100; much cheaper than Patek Philippe’s Calibre 89 watch that costs over $6 million or the bejeweled Clive Christian perfume costing $200,000 (includes home delivery in a Bentley). No wonder then that all their flights till 2009 are booked. So if you are willing to settle for much less, for around $22,000, STA Travel offers a 5 day package tour to Moscow with a day of flying to “fringe of outer-space” in a Mig-31. With airport transfers, 5 breakfasts and 1 lunch included, which millionaire can deny this offer? Well, I am not sure if Mig-31s have in-flight entertainment though.