The founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, recently announced that he plans to send two space tourists around the moon in 2018. This will be the first manned mission to travel that far from Earth since the end of the Apollo program. This trip will be pricey and dangerous, but what a lot of people don’t realize is how much it would suck.
Here are 7 reasons why space tourism would be just the worst.
1. In Flight Meals
From the kosher platter to the standard turkey sandwich, in flight meals aren’t known for their quality. At ten dollars per meal, they are also very expensive, but imagine how expensive an in flight meal would be in space? A flight around the moon isn’t a short hop either. The trip is estimated to take about a week. That’s 21 disgusting in flight meals these tourists will surely be paying top dollar for. I hope one of these two space tourists is either a chef or capable of smuggling food in their depressingly small carry on bags.
2. The Leg Room
As a tall person, lack of legroom is my biggest complaint when it comes to flying. Airlines like to save money and any wasted space is wasted money. When Musk is putting together the interior design blueprint for his dragon capsule, I doubt “comfort” is going to be high on his priority list. These two passengers better get used to being cramped, because space for them is going to be a constant cramped nightmare.
3. Limited In-Flight Entertainment
Flights aren’t known for having very robust entertainment selections. There are usually a few episodes of Big Bang Theory, a late night show episode from the previous month and if you’re lucky, a critically panned Hollywood blockbuster or two. I don’t imagine your selections on a flight around the moon would be much better.
4. Bad Wi-Fi
The one saving grace of most flights is the addition of in flight Wi-Fi. Will there be in flight Wi-Fi on a trip around the moon? Probably not and if there is, it would probably be really slow and VERY expensive.
5. Poor potential for anecdotes
One of the reasons people travel is that it gives you something interesting to talk about when meeting strangers for the first time. This is what the conversation will be like when a space tourist has a conversation about their billion dollar trip around the moon.
Person 1: I went to space.
Person 2: Oh, cool. How was it?
Person 1: Cold and expensive.
Person 2: …
The thing is, when people talk about their vacations, they don’t talk about their time in the air because that is inherently uninteresting. The SpaceX trip around the moon is ALL flight. At least if there was a casino on the moon you could talk about how bad the buffet was.
6. The Smell
Airline flights smell like a mix between a hospital room and the inside of a bottle of rubbing alchohol. They’re somehow both sterile and gross. I doubt the inside of a SpaceX capsule would smell any less then “weird.”
7. The Pilot
One of my favorite parts about flying is the pilot. The in flight jokes, the cool hat and jacket. These sky jockeys really have it all. Do you know what the SpaceX flight is lacking? A pilot. The capsule is flown around the moon entirely via autopilot. Gone are the hilarious jokes said over the intercom. Gone are the weather and turbulence updates. Gone is the flight’s only authority figure. I guess they could install some type of SIRI-esque app to communicate with the capsule’s two passengers, but it’s just not the same. It’s just not the same.