All I need is $1.4 billion. That’s where you come in.
Apparently, a few former NASA big shots got together recently and formed a business called The Golden Spike Company. One of them is Gerry Griffin, an ex-science chief who also served as deputy director of Kennedy Space Center for awhile.
While talking around the water cooler one day, the big shots realized that they were all in agreement that it was fundamentally unfair that, for all these years, only really smart people have been able to see the moon up close and walk upon its craters.
It made much more sense, they decided, that only really rich people should be able to do this.
So, they made it a goal to start selling private lunar visits before the end of the decade.
Think about that. That means that by the year 2020 — with the help of a few sponsors — I should be able to board a rocket ship, strap myself beside a hot date, break my way through the earth’s atmosphere, enter outer space, land on the moon, say something cool and iconic, and then take a step, with my own actual foot, onto space rocks.
“Aw, shucks,” I’ll tell acquaintances when they invite me to boring Christmas parties the week before my trip. “Unfortunately, I can’t make it that weekend! See, I’ve already got plans to play Wiffle ball on the moon. Then eat Dip-N-Dots in outer space. I really wish I could, it’s just this darn moon trip, ya know? I’ll send a fruit cake, though. I mean, I won’t personally, of course, since I’ll be surfing earth’s orbit that day. But, you know, I’ll pay someone to send a fruit cake — somebody who won’t be on the moon then, I mean.”
There was a time you really had to be somebody to go to the moon. It was a pipe dream we told our children for generations. The most American of all American Dreams. “If you set your mind to it, little Tommy, you can be anything you want to be — even an astronaut.”
Now, all you need is a few billion dollars and nothing else going on this Friday night.
What ever happened to the good old days of winners and losers — that’s what I want to know. What ever happened to limitations? Limitations are good — especially financial ones. They tell you in no uncertain terms who’s better than you. They keep the alcohol industry not just in business, but thriving.
But now, you get a medal just for participating. You want to be an astronaut? Sure, no problem, be an astronaut. Why should anybody tell anybody no?
So, OK, fine. I’ll be an astronaut. It is my God-given right as an American, after all.
I figure if I need $1.4 billion by 2020, that means I’ll need to raise $175 million a year for the next eight years. No problem. Divide that by roughly 40,000 Ormond Beach residents, and that’s only $4,375 a year — $364.58 a month! — from each person!
So, c’mon, forget the hungry African babies and the one-eyed puppies begging for your pennies on TV, moping around to sad Sarah McLachlan songs. Send your money to me, instead. You won’t be the one actually going to the moon, of course, but then, we can’t all take the trip. It’s just simple economics. Somebody is going to have to take one for the team.
But hey, don’t be too upset. Maybe we can’t all be winners in this one, but it’s not like you’re necessarily losing, either. You didn’t hear it from me (nudge, nudge), but rumor has it they’re giving donors medals for participating.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR