Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Beam me up Scottie

The ashes of Scottie from Star Trek were blasted into space according to the Times

A "symbolic portion" of his ashes was loaded into a silver capsule with those of 200 other people whose families paid $495 / £248 for the privilege.

Now, whilst this is pretty bizzarre anyway, my attention was drawn to the price.


Not only is this - to my mind - a rather low amount to charge to blast anything into space at all, but its a rather convenient "Price-drop TV" price point as well.

Can you see the pearly-white dentured presenter reading off the autocue whilst holding a toy space rocket (erm, "scale model of the actual rocket to be used") ;

"I'm not asking $10,000, I'm not asking $5,000, I'm not asking $1,000 - I'm not even asking you to part with as little as $500 - Yes, its true, your ashes can be blasted into space for as little as $495 !!"

Come off it - if your ashes can go into space for $495, how come NASAs 1996 budget was $16.45 billion ? - and they only launch a handful of real live people for this money. I reckon that the only place these peoples ashes are launched are on a one way trip down the great white telephone as some bloke pockets the cash and runs away into the night laughing ...

Then again, maybe it is true? Maybe the cost of space flight for ashes is quite low? Maybe its anew route for NASA? If $495 is a true value, it means instead of the international space station NASA could instead spend their budget launching the ashes of nearly the entire cast of Casualty and The Bill into space next year ...

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