Feb 15, 2021

Three Guys Pay $55 Million Each to Visit a Space Station

Maybe they’re charging it on it on their Discovery cards

By Ed Goldman

Three guys are reportedly paying $55 million each to book a flight on an Elon Musk rocket ship to visit the International Space Station sometime next year. The trip on the SpaceX Dragon craft includes an eight-day stay at the station, presumably with spa privileges. 

Edgy Cartoon

Tossed In Space

Accordingly, we have some questions:

  1. Is there a baggage limit—and if so, what will each guy be charged for checking a Duffel Bag containing not much more than a change of undies, fresh socks and an advance health care directive?
  2. Will the two other guys have to wait in the aisle while the first one loads his Samsonite suitcase into the overhead bin?
  3. Will the flight attendant mention the prospect of a water landing in his or her pre-launch speech—and just in case, would the guys be able to use their spacesuits as flotation devices?
  1. Will there be meal service or should the fellas load up those Duffels with Cinnabon snacks and a thermos of lattes? And does the Kennedy Space Center, the launch site, even have a Cinnabon or Starbucks kiosk?
  2. How many in-flight movies will be available during the roughly six-hour flight and what will be the content? I’m guessing that none of them will have galactic combat themes, just as you never see airplane disaster movies on most commercial flights.
  3. Will the in-flight magazine have more interesting crossword puzzles than they usually do? Most of them are worse than those you used to find in TV Guide. (Clue: “Days __Our Lives”)
  4. How high will the Space X craft need to be before the guys can switch back on their personal electronic devices? I think it’s safe to say a lot of selfies will be shot, though maybe not of the meals if those mainly consist of Tang and freeze-dried apricots (reportedly, a NASA fave).
  1. If needed, will the gents be allowed to bring their service animals onboard? Warning: Because of the dudes’ obvious financial resources, these could turn out to be androids. If the androids are wearing bikinis and are introduced as “nieces from Baltimore,” please alert TSA.
  2. Upon arrival at their destination, will the guys find the International Space Station to be elegant and high-tech or just another airport Host Hotel, with a bucket in the room for the ice machine down the hall?
  3. Will there be weightless chocolate mints hovering over the pillows?
  4. After spending $55 million, will each guy also have to pay for everything he takes out of the room fridge? And, based on the trip’s economy of scale, will a can of Pringles go for $495,000? What about one of those tiny bottles of Smirnoff—will that require a co-signer?
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  1. How about the TVs in their rooms? Will los guys get more channels than your average hotel TV does? Will they have to pay extra to enjoy lighthearted, good-natured, galaxy-themed, soft porn movies, such as “Myrna Does the Milky Way” or “Carla Meets the Canis Major Dwarf”? (Note for student readers: These are our two closest galaxies. In fact, we’re in the first one.)

Finally, I’m guessing that for a $55 million round-trip ticket, the frequent-flyer points are phenomenal. Starting with no fees for checking your Duffel Bag or android.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).