While today is Cinco de Mayo, a little cold and grey here in SF, not shuttle launching weather, it’s also the anniversary of the first American in space.
Yup. Today in 1961, we launched Navy Commander, Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr., from Cape Canaveral, Florida, into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule. Source, History.com. First American into space. Back then there was something called Sputnik. A satellite sent into orbit by the now defunct U.S.S.R..
For those of you who don’t remember, this stood for, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Yes, the Russians beat us into space. Now we share a space station with them. And hitch rides.
But, for a suitable replacement for N.A.S.A., I guess, we have Virgin Galactic. Blasting off from Las Cruces, New Mexico. For $200,000, plus the cost of carry-on and peanuts, I would hope, because you don’t want to skimp on gas on the way back, you can now fly into space.
Now what I would like to know is this. Who has officially broken the stratosphere club? And was there some kind of alcoholic beverage involved? And what is the effect of loneliness in space?
And how many gaming nerds does it take to figure out, exactly, when you need to boost into hyperspace? And how much gas does this take? And what, exactly, is Luke to do without the force? And how much is unobtainium worth on the open market? And just, exactly, how could we sell these trips in some kind of space backed security? Because if space travel is now a money making industry, I want to go!
Yes, even space travel is an industry. Hats off to you Richard Branson. I didn’t know you started a magazine at 16. I had a magazine idea in college. It was called, Yes B___!, and it covered everything decadent and material. Think, Pinochet topping off his gas. And what could be more decadent than a $200,000 trip into space?
But is there E.T. insurance?