This week in shit none of us can afford: the private company Excalibur Almaz has started selling tickets for a journey to the Moon. To do it, the company has purchased several old, used Russian spacecrafts. What could go wrong?
Excalibur Almaz is a company started by Art Dula, a patent and space lawyer from Houston, but it's based in the Isle of Man, because that's the first place you think of when someone says "space exploration." The company has purchased four reusable (and previously used) Soyuz capsules for reentry, and two Salyut-class 29-ton space stations. The two stations would orbit the moon. The Soyuz would shuttle the super-rich traveler there, then dock with one of the orbiting stations so Richie could stretch out a bit while he/she looks at the moon.
Wait, $155 million and I just orbit and go home? No. Hell no. For that much money (that I don't now nor will I ever have), you are putting me on the surface of the moon, where I will get out, run, and jump, and hump a moon-rock because I am getting my damn money's worth. This has got to be the worst travel deal ever.
The first flights are planned for 2015. They estimate the journey would take six months, which doesn't make any kind of sense. Regardless, I can think of no better way to spend an insane amount of money and be instantly exploded by a malfunctioning rocket. Thank God technology has brought us this far. [Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal]