Space Tourists: We Want More

Reuters: Tourist Tito Arrives at Station, says He Loves Space. The U.S. space agency NASA disapproved of the amateur space buff’s trip to the $95 billion space station, saying his presence could prove a dangerous distraction in an emergency.

NASA should wake up and join the 21st Century. Tito, the tourist, is living the dream of many — including me, as he floats in micro-gravity today.

I’m as strong a believer in space travel as you’ll find. Humanity needs to get off this planet, to explore and diversify our presence.

NASA and other official space agencies have owned the field until now, quite properly. Space travel has been an expensive and dangerous activity, and still is. But one of the best ways to bring down the cost to taxpayers is to let rich tourists take trips.

What’s needed now is some kind of tourist lottery. The rich folks who get to visit the space station should kick in a few million more per trip to fun a ride for some of the rest of us. What better way to drum up interest in, and support for, a program that is absolutely vital to our future?

I still hope to go into space before my time is up. Until Tito boarded the Russian ship and was rocketed to the space station, I’d just about given up the possiblity. My chances have risen every so slightly, I think. And so have yours, if you want to go.


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