NOTE: This column originally posted online in En Pointe Magazine. Check it out.
In 1961, the French flung the first rat into space. His name was Hector; and nestled in the nosecone of a Veronique Rocket, he was shot 93 miles above the Sahara. In 2014, a Boomtown Rat will join the club.
Bob Geldof has recently announced he has booked his seat with Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) on a Lynx Mark II spacecraft … because everyone knows the best way to launch a Rat into space is in the belly of a cat.
Launch date: 201WhoCares.
For a cool $100,000—or the price of 100,000 McChicken sandwiches, Mr. Feed The World—you, too, can fly into the emptiness of space.
And chances are you’d board with other astro-celebrities who can afford to spend the $1,667 per minute it costs to go space trucking for an hour.
Clearly, the vacuum of space is not cheap. (And vacuuming space is not cheap either. $650 for a Dyson Vacuum? Talk about maximized sucking power. It’s hard to suck more than that.)
To be sure, sending celebrities into space is hard work. And it sucks. But returning celebrities from space sucks even more.
And this is where SXC is missing a huge revenue opportunity. Sure, it seems there’s a constant stream of millionaires willing to pay a hefty fee just to go weightless for six minutes. But if one—just one—rocket blows up, the cash cow crashes, too.
However, if SXC marketed to us astro-not-celebrities, they’d have a steady revenue stream for decades to come. Not to go into space. But to send others into space. And this is the important part: not bring them back.
You could easily get 1,000 people to pay $10 each to send Miley Cyrus to space. Permanently. Twerk your junk and you can become space junk. Blast off Bieber? You bet. Let’s send all the Kardashians back to their home country of Kardash on the planet Bigpatootie.
Could George Zimmerman stand his ground in zero gravity? No way. It’s called “The First Law of Motion,” futhermucker.
Let’s see how The Real Housewives of Anywhere function in a space as vacuous as their heads.
Moving to politics, there are 435 Congresspersons. That would be a cool $4.3 million for SCX. Launch chemical weapons and we’ll launch you.
Of course, it’s the celebrities we love to hate. And for every new boy band, every vapid hotel heiress, every mind-sucking reality show, there will always be a rocket-full of celebri-monkeys asked to make a cameo in near-Earth orbit.
Eventually, space celebrities’ orbits will degrade; and they’ll burn up in re-entry. But that’s OK.
After all, they’re called shooting stars, right?