Space Tourism 1: Birthday Party

In October 2016, The Atlantic magazine reported that Jeff Bezos’s space-flight company, Blue Origin, had succeeded in consciously uncoupling a crew capsule from a rocket. “In the process,” The Atlantic said, “would-be space tourists came one giant leap closer to suborbital selfies.” Which got us thinking about both the mind-bending awesomeness of this – which was the point of The Atlantic story – and its eventual, inevitable banality. So, as Elon Musk’s Space-X celebrates a successful return to the satellite-launching business – with a robotic mission to Mars on its radar for 2018 – we let our imaginations go along for the ride. Assuming, of course, that there’ll be a ride.  

Imagine, for instance, a suborbital selfie from a century hence, when well-to-do little girls will celebrate their birthdays with spacey, twinkle-free stars in their eyes. They’ll fête their six years on earth 62 miles above sea level with mom, dad, and carefully-chosen classmates in tow, all of whom will suit up and shell out some $32 million each. (Yes, we’re guessing, based on the fact that today, it costs a cool $81 million to get an astronaut up to the International Space Station. We’re assuming, of course, that the the CakeCapsule will be included, and that by then, pets, which are many people’s favourite people, will be along for the ride. Bragging rights? Maybe. But the neighbours have already been to the moon, and spent the night at the Space Station. No pouting.  

story © Dianna Carr         image © Francis Tremblay