PD Editorial: NASA enters the space tourism business

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Are you still looking for a Father’s Day gift that doesn’t require a four-in-hand or a half-Windsor knot? Is Dad getting a little nostalgic about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the moon landing? Well, NASA may be offering just what you’re trying to find. No, not a walk on the moon. But something close: a vacation on the International Space Station, orbiting about 240 miles above Earth.

Space tourism probably was inevitable; American businessman Dennis Tito paid the Russians for a ride to (and from) the space station in 2001, just a year after its christening. But scientific research and space exploration should remain NASA’s primary mission.

Visiting won’t be cheap: $35,000 a night for basic accommodations — air, water, toilet and internet. But you can’t beat the view. As for transportation to and from the space station … that’s going to be extra. About $52 million per person extra, according to CNBC, which reported that SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, already has deposits for four roundtrips. We looked for cheaper alternatives, but “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” wasn’t any help, and we struck out at StubHub and Priceline. Well, there’s always a tie.

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