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Space Science

A $100 Million Trip to the Moon 451

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can-get-cheese-in-wisconsin-cheaper dept.
Kyusaku Natsume writes "Russia's federal space agency will offer a $100m trip to the moon. From the UK Guardian's article:" "We've had the necessary technology for many years, the only problem will be finding someone prepared to pay that much." "
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A $100 Million Trip to the Moon

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:26AM (#13176413)

    From TFA:
    Space tourists will not land on its surface but will circle its dark side and orbit close enough to examine its cratered lunar crust. They would live in two cramped modules about three metres across and eat biscuits and food in tubes.
    Doesn't sound all that great, really...$100 mil for that? I can do that right now for free...in fact, I am doing that right now (sitting in my cramped cubicle, eating Ding-Dongs from the snack machine, and examining the cratered lunar crust [google.com].

    Oh, and by the way,
    "There is no dark side of the moon really...matter of fact it's all dark."
    Pink Floyd,
    Dark Side of the Moon
    • by savagedome (742194) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:38AM (#13176547)
      Space tourists will not land on its surface but will circle its dark side and orbit close enough to examine its cratered lunar crust

      In other news, the space agency was approached by a space enthusiast who suggested paying using the jingling sound of quarters worth $100 million in a tin cup. The sources confirm that the agency denied him the ride.
    • Space tourists will not land on its surface but will circle its dark side and orbit close enough to examine its cratered lunar crust. In fact you can see the dark side from Earth; just try to find the moon during the "new" phase. I think what they mean to say is the far side, which is never visible from Earth.
      • No disrespect to you personally, but this gets modded +4 informative? I thought everybody by now knew that by "dark" side it's meant the far side of the moon, the one we never see. In that sense, the sentence In fact you can see the dark side from Earth is factually incorrect. We have no way to see the far side of the moon from Earth, there is no optical line of sight. (OK, we see small parts of it blah blah..)
    • So... I click on the moon.google.com link you posted.

      Nice, nice... not thrilling, but nice... then I zoomed in on the Apollo 11 landing site. Still nice, not thrilling but nice...

      so I zoomed in all the way to see how good the resolution gets.

      All of the sudden... Yikes! the moon turned yellow and looked like cheese... Not surrender monkey Brie or boardshead gouda either but aparantly the surface is clearly some type of swiss cheese.

      I was not prepared for this revelation! My day has now been wrecked by the li
    • Doesn't sound all that great, really...$100 mil for that? I can do that right now for free...in fact, I am doing that right now (sitting in my cramped cubicle, eating Ding-Dongs from the snack machine, and examining the cratered lunar crust.

      You get free Ding-Dongs at work? Are they hiring?
    • Oh, and by the way,

              "There is no dark side of the moon really...matter of fact it's all dark."

                      Pink Floyd,
                      Dark Side of the Moon


      that quote on the album came from a doorman for abbey road studios. He did a recorded interview with the band so that they could use the audio for the album.
      • What's interesting to note is that they interviewed quite a few people, in the final days of recording Dark Side of the Moon. Just random stuff, easy stuff to begin with, which built up to questions like "Have you ever been in a fight?" and "Were you in the right?" (Which prompted the "was definitely in the right, that geezer was cruising for a bruising!" comment).

        They interviewed Paul McCartney, as the Beatles were recording in Abbey Road around the same time. Paul, already being in the media spotlight, wa
    • "Space tourists will not land on its surface but will circle its dark side and orbit close enough to examine its cratered lunar crust."

      That's marketing-speak for "crash".
  • Warning (Score:5, Funny)

    by matt21811 (830841) * on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:26AM (#13176414) Homepage
    Warning: Dont buy this. The price is does not include a landing. You just fly around the moon and come back. It is clearly a rip off.
  • by Iriel (810009) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:27AM (#13176432) Homepage
    They can ask that Russian astrologer that sued over the Temple 1 probe for the 'moral damages'.
  • by JossiRossi (840900) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:27AM (#13176433) Homepage
    I find it odd that Russia is at the forefront of commercial space travel. I mean they are capable of it, but I somehow thought that by now a public company could have pulled it off already. NASA f'ing up space travel with it's politics and disillusioning some about it likely has not helped.
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:33AM (#13176481) Homepage Journal
      but I somehow thought that by now a public company could have pulled it off alread - are you kidding? Imagine this: you start a company like that. Let's say you have 1000,000,000 USD as a starting capital. How much can you do for that money? What would it take? You can buy Russian Soyuz launch vehicles, but for that money can you have your own space station and a moon module capable of going around the moon and back to the station? What about the fuel for the moon station? The Russians have Protons and Zeniths, you would have to buy those. How many customers will you get? One every 2 years? How will you make money on that?

      No, it's too early for any private company to even think about such things. The Russian space agency can only afford to do this because they have all the infrastructure for it: they have Soyuz and Proton and the space station.
      • by JossiRossi (840900) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:02PM (#13176786) Homepage
        I suppose part of my beef is part of the space flight industry's history.

        Space flight is very costly, and starting up a company for this would be astronomical (hyuck hyuck). Some of the reasons the cost is so high is because it's hard to get investors due to the high risk. (Kill one crew, just one, and you're likely to go under in a week). The other reasons are because the current technology is extremely expensive. Government programs tend to get a bit bloated on the cost and as such anyone entering would initially need government size funds to draw from.

        Had there been contests for cheap spaceflight options (like the one that was won a few months back but I am an idiot and the name escapes me.) Had these kinds of projects been done in tandem to the governmnetal developement, I think we'd be looking at a whole different view of space travel. I think ultimately the quickest way to get to the stars is the cooperation and parrallel evolution of the government and private sectors in the field.
    • The thing about space travel is that while obviously it furthers science and allows us to discover stuff, it is currently entirely unclear what, if any, profit it will generate. For a government this is less of an issue, but for a private company, this is the only issue.
    • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:35AM (#13176511) Homepage Journal
      I find it odd that Russia is at the forefront of commercial space travel. I mean they are capable of it, but I somehow thought that by now a public company could have pulled it off already. NASA f'ing up space travel with it's politics and disillusioning some about it likely has not helped.

      Blame government hand-wringing. The last time they allowed a "space tourist" on a shuttle flight, it was a schoolteacher who won a contest, and she got killed. NASA is understandably reluctant to suffer such a disaster again. The Challenger incident set our space program back to such a serious degree that it's still never recovered. Before Challenger, talk was afoot of orbital space flight being the next wave of public transportation. Imagine flying from New York to Tokyo in a few hours!

      NASA never really recovered from Challenger, and Columbia should have been to nail in NASA's coffin, as it was. And it may prove to have been in the end. We're well overdue to privatize American space exploration. That doesn't mean that government cannot engage in it, only that government shouldn't be the owners of American space initiatives. NASA ought to be split into two groups: a regulatory/oversight body to manage space projects and allocate research time on government-owned orbital platforms such as Hubble, and a second body that is purely scientific in nature. Private American spaceflight would be completely permissable on the grounds that telemetry, observations, and research conducted on such flights be made available to NASA for internal use (not republication).

      Get NASA out of the hardware and flight businesses.

      • by CFTM (513264) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:29PM (#13177045)
        It's interesting to see just how much our society has changed with the advent of modern medicine. 150-200 years ago many many many babies were still dying in child birth or young children were dying from disease. Death was common place, thus there wasn't a huge uproar when it occured. Today, we've found ways to remove ourselves from death as much as possible through antibiotics, modern surgical techniques and doing things like pasturizing milk. The unintended consequence of this advancement has become a society that is absolutely mortified of death. We think we can outrun, outsmart or create technology to put off the inevitable but the reality is we can't.

        In all actuality, in the scheme of humanity, the shuttle disasters should not be catastrophic. Shit happens. It's sad and it's terrible but bad things happen all the time. I think that if space exploration is going to ever take off, we're going to have to accept that there will be a "wild-west" era where things are very dangerous and many many people die. Too bad we [the united states] is a litigious society full of people looking to get rich quick. For crists sake, the astronauts know what kind of risk they are taking; to quote Kevin Smith from the Donnie Darko Director's Cut director track [I know he's not the director he's part of the commentary] "You need an acceptable level of insanity".
        • Today, we've found ways to remove ourselves from death as much as possible through antibiotics, modern surgical techniques and doing things like pasturizing milk. The unintended consequence of this advancement has become a society that is absolutely mortified of death. We think we can outrun, outsmart or create technology to put off the inevitable but the reality is we can't.

          Loss of religion has got to have something to do with it as well. If you've got a Heaven to go to, how bad can it really be to croak i
        • by jscotta44 (881299) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @01:51PM (#13177903)
          Thanks for the reality check. The United States has forgotten just how many people died to explore and settle North America. Being on the cutting edge is dangerous. But there are huge rewards for the successful and huge payoffs to those of us left behind. Those pioneers that take the big risks expand our envelope and we get huge benefits from that.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          In all actuality, in the scheme of humanity, the shuttle disasters should not be catastrophic. Shit happens.

          In the time it took you to write your comment,
          more people died in SUV's than died in the
          Challenger disaster. Nobody except their next-of-kin and a few highway patrol officers and EMT's will even know about it. Where's the public
          outcry?

          Hell, going into space atop a giant roman candle
          is dangerous. The Astronauts knew that before they climbed in. They thought the trip was
          worth the risk. So do I.
        • 150-200 years ago many many many babies were still dying in child birth or young children were dying from disease.

          My maternal grandmother was born circa 1890. When she was a young woman, two women meeting for the first time would exchange two pieces of information early in the conversation: (1) how many children each had had, and (2) how many lived. When I was a kid in the late Forties, my mom was just beginning to ask her not to do that any more.

          rj

    • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:37AM (#13176536)
      Not so odd. The set-up cost of a space program (launch vechicle design, location, landing location, monitering center, etc.) is a very high sunk cost. Russia has it, built and paid for. So all they have to pay for is each launch, and ongoing maintenice. Since their budget has been cut, they have a strong incentive to find alternative funding.

      In other words: They have the capablitly set up, and they have a reason. No one else has that: NASA is funded enough to keep going, and no one else has existing human-spaceflight capablity.
    • This is nothing new...Russia was the first to offer civilians the opportunity to fly in fighter jets.

      I think this is a terrible deal, however. If the module was a bit bigger (read: i can move around, and give this weightless thing a shot) then cool. For food...biscuits? For what a weeks travel? Come on, what about the MREs...can I bring them with me...at least they are good.

      NASA could do what it does for a fraction of the cost if gov't contracts weren't such a ripoff to the people.
    • but I somehow thought that by now a public company could have pulled it off already

      Space travel involves HUGE infrastructure that is much more expensive to set up and fund than just the cost of a single launch. This is one of the reasons private space travel has not "taken off" yet.

  • except (Score:5, Funny)

    by NeMon'ess (160583) <flinxmid@NOSpam.yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:31AM (#13176452) Homepage Journal
    Once you're there getting back will cost another hundred million.

    Didn't RTFA
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:31AM (#13176453) Homepage Journal
    1) Convice Bill to offer "one BILEEEON dollars" for a landing.
    2) Get Russians to provide it - one way.
    3) Profit!
    • by cosmo7 (325616) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:37PM (#13177122) Homepage
      Baikonur: OK, Bill, you need to switch on the retro-rockets to enter lunar orbit.
      BG: OK. Is that a wizard?
      Baikonur: Try the wizard first.
      BG: Got it. It says the Soyuz launch vehicle is not attached.
      Baikonur: Ignore that. Click next.
      BG: OK. There's an option for the retro-rockets. Selected. Oh, now it says the Soyuz has to restart.
      Baikonur: OK.
      (two minutes pass)
      BG: Hmm, it seems to have forgotten the retro-rockets setting.
      Baikonur: OK, go to control panel.
      BG: Hold on, it wants me to update my virus settings.
      Baikonur: Ignore that, you're going to miss your orbit insertion window.
      BG: OK, Navigation Controls.
      Baikonur: No, it's in Configuration Options
      BG: O... K...
      Baikonur: Click advanced.
      BG: OK. Ah, I see retro-rockets in the list.
      Baikonur: Select and click configure.
      BG: It's grayed out.
      Baikonur: Hmm. Are you running as admin?
      BG: Uh huh.
      Baikonur: It shouldn't be grayed out.
      BG: It is.
      Baikonur: Did you check the retro rockets are properly installed?
      BG: Wow, I'm going right past the moon.
      Baikonur: OK, lets try doing a 180 and using the main engines. Go to Thruster Options.
      BG: OK. There's a little dog asking me if I want to lift off.
      (etc, ad infinitum.)
  • by B11 (894359) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:32AM (#13176470)
    they'll take a post-dated check?

    I just have to get my plan to hold the world hostage with a giant "laser" off the ground.

  • Not the first time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rxke (644923) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:32AM (#13176471) Homepage
    They posted this idea before.
    Looked extremely nice, but there are some problems with this...
    Biggest stumblingblock: the heatshield is not up to the increased punishment it'll get when re-entering from a trans-luna trajectory instead of a deorbit from LEO...

    But then again, that's only a matter of strenghthening the shield. But then again, that needs testing, and will add serious weight.

    So they can't do this tomorrow, the hardware is not tried and tested... Yet...
    • by Chairboy (88841) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:45AM (#13176610) Homepage
      That's not... completely accurate.

      The Soyuz capsule was designed to travel to the moon as the Zond variant. The system was tested in the late 1960s, using the same type of Proton boosted soyuz capsules to orbit the moon and return, and did so with animals aboard that survived.

      But yes, other then being wrong in almost every other respect, you are correct when you say "They posted this idea before".
  • by Arthur B. (806360) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:32AM (#13176475)
    It may not be easy to find someone willing to pay 100M$ for a trip around the moon. Isn't it waay easier to find 10M people in the world willing to pay 10$ to perhaps win a trip around the moon ? I know I would.
    • by AviLazar (741826) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:50AM (#13176656) Journal
      Good point. And some company will offer this. "Buy a 12$ raffle ticket."

      10$ (up to 50 million) goes to Russia. $1 per ticket goes to the company. The rest goes to charity? I would buy a ticket. And hey, they could also say "If we get enough for two trips, then there will be two winners."

      I don't know...that sounds a bit altruistic of me. More likely some company will sell the tickets for 15/pop and pocket any profits above the 50 mil.
      • It's 100MegaBucks, not 50.
      • No it goes this way:You sign up and pay $10 dollars. When you get 10M friends to sign up and each pay $10 you get your moon trip. When each of them gets 10M firends to sign up they get their moon trip.....it'll work, i swear. :)
      • More likely some company will sell the tickets for 15/pop and pocket any profits above the 50 mil.

        I might be willing to concede the profits to a company, if they can provide an appropriate level of trust. Otherwise, you're looking at the Russian Mafia, I mean Government, as the return address on your lottery ticket. That doesn't inspire my confidence.

        On the other hand, I'd probably still buy the ticket even so. A one in a million chance, times a one in two chance that my $10 would go to Boris & Natas [wikipedia.org]
  • discount (Score:3, Funny)

    by tubbtubb (781286) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:33AM (#13176480)
    Can I get a discount if I lose a few pounds?

    Seriously though, kids weigh far less and take up less space, what about a donation for a make-a-wish foundation candidate?
  • Unless you want to say, "Bakinour, we have a problem."
  • Peanuts? (Score:2, Funny)

    by teiresias (101481)
    So do you get a bag of peanuts on your trip?
  • by ChrisF79 (829953) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:35AM (#13176512) Homepage
    Damn, I'd pay the $100M but I don't think my boss would let me take the week off.
    • Damn, I'd pay the $100M but I don't think my boss would let me take the week off.

      Well if you RTFA, yo'd know that its actually a 14-day trip. So it seems impossible for you. Sorry.

  • Maybe GW Bush can buy a ticket for his plan to return to the moon?
    • let's all take up a $50M collection for one-way trip now, and later if finance, time and interest allows those interested can spring for his return trip
    • void avoid_flamebait_mods(void)
      {
      /* Customize the following two strings for your application */
      char *pol1 = "** NAME OF FIRST POLITICIAN YOU LOATHE **";
      char *pol2 = "** NAME OF SECOND POLITICIAN OR POLITICAL ADVISOR YOU LOATHE **";

      printf("What if instead of $50M for a round trip, we got two $25M one way tickets for %s and %s?\n", pol1, pol2);
      }

      I'll probably get the FB tag anyways. *SIGH*

  • Russia + EU (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amightywind (691887) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:38AM (#13176552) Journal

    This shows how desperate Russia is becoming maintaining its space exploration capability. Russia has neither the rockets nor the spacecraft to support such an offer. I think it makes more sense for them to combine efforts with the EU going forward. The EU has no manned program, but good space technology and relatively deep pockets. Russia has well developed space technology but little funding. It would make an impressive combination.

    • Re:Russia + EU (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Neticulous (900423)
      You make a good point. It probably wont happen anytime soon, if ever at all, but imagine if there were no politcal bounds to space exploration, if the top 20, or even top 5 countries got together and funded one space exploration thingy-mabob, we could really make some progress.

      I see space exploration as a means for humankind, not just americans, or russions, or chinese, or what-have-you but humankind as a whole. Countries need to realize this, together, and start cooperating in the goal for space explorati
  • If you decide to... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Neticulous (900423) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:38AM (#13176555)
    If you intended on paying the 100m, would you need to take one of those physical tests (the simpsons comes to mind...) that would make sure you were able to withstand the forces that come with space travel? I would think that it would be a prerequisite to go through tons of tests in order to actually go on a shuttle.

    Either way, thats a shitload of money, but its also a once in a lifetime opportunity. (atleast if you are getting old already!) Some of us young folk will probably be able to take some "tours" for around 1 million or so within 20-30 years I assume (and hope). By then it will be safer as well, even if I had the money, I doubt I would do this, but give it 30 years or so and space travel will be a *bit* safer, and there may be actual tour shuttles available. so what are the limits? can a 70 year old man willing to pay 100mill do this? what about an obese 25 year old thats just waiting for a heart attack? do you have to be very physically fit? Inquiring minds want to know...
    • so what are the limits? can a 70 year old man ... do this?

      Ask John Glenn [cnn.com]. Granted, he is a special case (former Marine fighter pilot, 1st american in orbit). But it would appear that a person in pretty good shape could do it into their 70's.

  • Is he fit enough to go?
  • The article says the entire trip would last a fortnight. This would be a long vacation and would be the biggest incentive to pay the 100 mil. I know they aren't landing on the moon, but 2 weeks is still a long time to spend in space. The apollo 11 mission only took 8 days [nasa.gov]and they landed. Of course, they didn't spend a week at a space station.

    Alternatively, a cruise usually lasts 1-2 weeks [carnival.com]. Which is a better use of your money?

    • Especially as the rest of the company this CEO (no one else makes so much money) really can't blaim him for not having his cellphone off and thus bein unreachable, whereas on a normal cruise you would be very much reachable...
    • On the other hand, being out of cell phone range for that long has a certain attractiveness of its own.

      "What do you mean we can't reach him?! These monthly status charts are urgent, dammit!"

  • If you read the fine print, Russia will hire George Lucas to create a special-effect driven "Your Trip to The Moon" film for $100 million. So, yes, the technology is there to send you to moon, but you can't pay enough money to actually go to the moon.
  • Let's hope the person with the money agrees to only pay them when he has safely returned to Earth.
  • by Momoru (837801) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:49AM (#13176651) Homepage Journal
    Welcome to Crazy Ivan's Russian Experience!!! Everything is for sale, all offers considered!!!

    Please choose one of the following from our "Government for sale" programs:

    1) Drive a t-37 tank - $50,000
    2) Fly a MiG - $200,000
    3) Pilot Nuclear Submarine - $1,000,000
    4) Fly to IIS - $20,000,000
    5) Fly to Moon - $100,000,000
    6) Kill a Chechnian - $50
    7) Preside over Duma for a day - $10,000

    Or anything else you want to do! Just name it and we'll stick a price on it.
  • by Shimmer (3036) <brianberns@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:50AM (#13176654) Homepage Journal
    TFA says the offer is to orbit the moon, but not land on it. An important distinction, I think.

    -- Brian Berns
  • I'll probably qualify next month :-)
    Where are those stratospheric IPOs when you need them?
  • Will they take a personal check?
  • "We've had the necessary technology for many years, the only problem will be finding someone prepared to pay that much."

    You've got to be joking! I'm prepared to pay that much.

    Of course I don't have it, but if I did, or even close to that amount, I would certainly accept the offer. And I bet everyone on slashdot feels the same!

    Another bright side: it's never been so easy to turn money into history.
  • by mustangdavis (583344) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:55AM (#13176710) Homepage Journal
    For $100 million, they better do better than just a pass around the moon!

    For example, the Russians on board had better be some REALLY hot Russian babes (like those mail order brides they are always advertising)!

    For $100 million, I'd want to be the first guy to have a three way in Space! (with 2 hot women - of course). I also want the exclusive rights to reproduce and sell the video :)

    For that matter, would I be the first guy to have sex in Space?

    I mean, seriously, if they're not landing on the moon, they had better give me something to do for two weeks. Two weeks in Space would get boring after the first few days if I had nothing to look forward to other than flying around the moon and (hopefully) landing (in one piece). They'd have to provide some serious entertainment for me to fork over that kind of cash ... (that is, if I had it).
    • For $100 million, I'd want to be the first guy to have a three way in Space! (with 2 hot women - of course)

      Probably OT, but why not:
      Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
      Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man.
      Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
      Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, cause chicks dig a du

    • by Ransak (548582)
      No, you wouldn't be the first [space.com].

      Most people aren't aware of this due to the illogical sex taboos in the US.

    • For that matter, would I be the first guy to have sex in Space?

      Look... If you had more than $100 million to blow on gonig to space, you'd would have most likely used it to have sex way before then. You could basically buy an island for that much and import women from all over the world and be bored by sex by the time you wake and say "Hey, I have to much money and I'm bored of spending it on women today. Maybe I should go to them moon instead."

      So, you're going to need a whole lot more than $100 million befo
  • by Banner (17158) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @11:56AM (#13176724) Journal
    During the Cold War, the Soviets would have done this in a heartbeat, no matter what the cost, if they had the capability. Saying they can do it now, for only a hundred million dollars, when they have never done it before, just sounds untrue.

    Yes the Russians build one of the best throw away capsules ever made. Yes they have done some wonderful things in space. But there is a big difference between Earth orbit and going to the Moon. Even if you're not landing there.
  • Hey Taco...

    How bouty changing the title from "To the moon" to "around the moon".....since that is what the Russians are actually doing instead of landing ON it.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:04PM (#13176807) Homepage
    It might be easier to find someone willing to pay that kind of money for a private, small but luxurious compartment, big enough for two, and a short, orbital or perhaps even suborbital trip with a couple of hours of weightlessness.
  • The hook... (Score:5, Funny)

    by airship (242862) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @12:51PM (#13177225) Homepage
    The hook is that beverage service is not even included. By day 3, they expect to be able to charge you another $100 million for each can of Coke. And it won't even be real Coke, just some weird Uzbekistan knockoff named 'Koke'.
    (Please imagine unintelligible Cyrillic characters between quotes. I am poor and cannot afford to waste my few precious real Cyrillic characters in Slashdot posts.)

  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @01:40PM (#13177745) Journal
    There's an article over on MSNBC [msn.com] with more info about the moon trip proposal. It turns out that the mission design is basically the same one that Constellation Services International, a small California space firm, proposed to the Russians last year. It seems that the Russians have just taken the proposal and blown off CSI. You can see the older article about CSI's design (with a diagram showing how it'll work) here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6558855/ [msn.com]

    From the newer article:

    NBC News space analyst James Oberg wrote about the Lunar Express concept eight months ago [msn.com]: As laid out by Constellation Services International's [constellat...rvices.com] Charles Miller, the passenger would first be brought up to the international space station aboard a modified Russian Soyuz craft. Then the Soyuz would make a rendezvous with a booster-equipped logistics module that has been sent into orbit separately. The beefed-up craft would make an elongated figure-8 course around the moon - not landing there, but slingshotting around to return to Earth.

    Oberg was amazingly prescient when he wrote, "The obvious question is what would prevent the Russians, or some other international space business, from simply stealing the idea and blowing off Miller and his associates."

    In an e-mail exchange with Oberg, Miller was "sorry to say" that CSI was not involved in the Russian round-the-moon project, reported by Moscow-based Channel 1 (in Russian) as well as the RIA Novosti news service.

    Instead, the news reports say that Russia's Federal Space Agency and Energia, the prime contractor for much of the country's space hardware, are working on the project. Channel 1 says proceeds from the two-week, $100 million tour package would go toward building Russia's next-generation spaceship, the Kliper [msn.com].
  • $100 lottery tickets (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stevef (5539) on Wednesday July 27, 2005 @01:52PM (#13177919)
    I bet they could find 1 million people willing to pay for a $100 lottery ticket. Or 5 million who would pay for a $20 lottery ticket. Sounds like a good deal to me... I'd have a better chance of orbiting the moon that winning the state lottery.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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