…stuff like this makes me think it’d be cool to be an astronaut. But the 20 year waiting of on and off flight opportunities, constant staying away from your family, random accidents killing people, and the complete helplesness of the individual at the hands of a vast governmental organization just don’t make me so interested as a whole.
I guess it’s pretty similar to the military in that sense.
Private spaceflight could change that. And I don’t mean paying 20 million to fly on Soyuz, but doing real spaceflight as useful work in private organizations. Still, the level of investment put on a single spaceflight will be so high that the person going will not have much freedom of choice on when to go, or what to do once up there. But it’s orders of magnitude less than with NASA or ESA.
That’s one of the reasons why Rick Searfoss has been having so much fun flying XCor’s X-Racer rocket powered airplane compared to the space shuttle (which must have been fun too but in a different way)… Sure, XCor’s got a lot invested in the plane, but there are so many flights that you are not in supertight control and can actually enjoy one. That is possible because the thing is safe and is not tossed away after each flight. 🙂
Link from Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides.