Shkspr’s 12th nite n txtng

Fly me to the moon

CNN is running a story about Orbital Development, a company that is offering to crash 22 pounds of personal cargo into the moon for about $6 million.

That’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Back during pre-Apollo days, the Soviets and the American would regularly smash stuff into the moon as a way of testing how viable a human moon-shot would be. The end result is that rockets with moon-reaching capacities are now suprisingly cheap over in Russia, and Orbital Development plans to use them. But one question yet remains: What’s the target audience here? As CNN reports:

Gregory Nemitz, president of Orbital Development, said: “The MoonCrash Project would probably be attractive to some bored rich guy, who is tired of playing with his radio-controlled model airplanes and wants to move up to the next level.”

Well, when you put it that way — sure, yeah, there probably are rich dudes willing to blow six million bucks flying their dirty socks or their poodle’s cremated ashes to the moon. But the bigger question is, is Orbital Development for real? If you go to their site, they seem to be interested not so much in flying stuff to the moon but in selling beef jerky. I’m not kidding about that.

(Thanks to Slashdot for finding this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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