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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

I'd rather just stay grounded

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What do you want done to your body when you die? Me, I really don't care. I guess just bury me someplace and that is the way I think a lot of people feel. But not everyone.

Recently I learned that people were paying thousands of dollars to have their ashes blasted into space. Sometime this month a rocket carrying the ashes of actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on "Star Trek," along with the ashes of 186 other people was sent into space. The families paid $995 to $5,300 for the flight and the company which is sponsoring the flight wants to give the space experience to the "common folk."

"Common folk?" First these people are dead. They aren't experiencing anything. And second, I don't know any common folk who want to spend a couple thousand dollars to send their loved one into outer space.

But this isn't all that is being offered now by space tourism businesses. One independent space company wants to soon send customers into suborbital space at a cost of $25,000 to $250,000 a person. Another company hopes to launch a rocket next month with mementoes from people who paid as little as $49.95 while yet another company is planning a rocket launch with hair samples and fingernail clippings sent by people who paid $34.95 for the "DNA kit" package.

Myself, I don't get the intrigue of space. Yeah, I've seen all the "Star Wars" movies and have watched the Space Shuttle take off but I really have about as much interest in space as I have in learning how to knit.

I can tell you that I certainly wouldn't pay $25,000 to take a tour of space. And if that is the lowest price seating where are they putting you? I mean there is a big difference between the price of a $25,000 per ticket and the price of a $250,000 per ticket.

I don't know about you but when NASA can't get the Space Shuttle to launch because a piece of foam fell off I am not too confident in the space program. What will NASA make the shuttle out of next, papier-mache? And if NASA can't build a shuttle that doesn't have problems what gives us the confidence that an independent space company can build one any better? They couldn't pay me $250,000 to get blasted into outer space on one of their rockets.

And I am not one who believes in aliens either, but let's assume for a second they exist. Do we really want to tick them off by polluting their territory with ashes of our dead loved ones or stupid mementoes? What if they found the hair samples and fingernail clippings? They would just see what kind of idiots earthlings are to pay $35 for someone to launch our personal hygiene trash into outer space.

And we wonder why in the movies aliens are always attacking us. Of course they are going to attack us with us launching trash into their atmosphere.

But who knows. Maybe on one the trips to space somebody will see a cute little alien that looks like E.T. Until then, I'll just leave space to the movies and keep my feet on the ground and my corpse in it.



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