Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wall Street Journal Documents How Average Family Can Take a Balloon Trip to Near Outer Space

And Documents Their Cluelessness on the Average Family

Looking at the spending profile of the average American family one would not expect to see things like a yacht, a Florida winter home, a new car every year and other things which come quite normally to the winners in the U. S. economy.  No the average family is more likely wasting its money on food, shelter and clothing.

But the lack of conspicuous consumption by the average American family would come as a shock to the Wall Street Journal.  Their story on a new company that wants to provide balloon rides to outer space (really, this is true) focuses on how those rides can be made affordable for the average folks.

A rendering of the pressurized gondola for up to 8 passengers.
 World View Enterprises
Space tourism may not be rocket science after all.
No but understanding the basic economics of the average American family apparently is to the WSJ

Closely held Paragon Space Development Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., intends to build a helium-filled balloon, with a diameter as long as a football field, able to transport up to eight passengers to an altitude of about 100,000 feet. The aerospace contractor joins a handful of other companies that are trying to develop ways for people without extensive astronaut training to reach or at least get close to outer space.

With a projected ticket price of $75,000, the goal is “bringing space to the masses as much as we can,” said Taber MacCallum, Paragon’s chief executive and co-founder. Revenue flights won’t commence until 2016 at the earliest, while testing or regulatory complications could push that deadline out further.

Gosh, just $75 k for a six hour ride.  One can easily imagine the good middle class families in America, whose median income is around $50k a year just lined up for this spectacular bargain.  

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