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Google's Brin Books a Space Flight

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Google 170

coondoggie writes "Google largely conquered the Earth — now it is taking aim at space. At least co-founder Sergei Brin is. Brin today said he put down $5 million toward a flight to the International Space Station in 2011. Brin's space travel will be brokered by Space Adventures, the space outfit that sent billionaire software developer Charles Simonyi to the station in 2007. Computer game developer (and son of a former NASA astronaut) Richard Garriott is currently planning a mission to the ISS in October 2008. Garriott is paying at least $30 million to launch toward the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship according to Space Adventures." Make sure to wave when you are over Michigan, man. I'll be the one on my lawn, green with envy.

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give him more than that (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750317)

Make sure to wave when you are over Michigan man. I'll be the one on my lawn green with envy.
I hope you'll be wearing at least a bright red shirt or something, because otherwise you're going to blend right in.

In Michigan? (5, Funny)

larpon (974081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750471)

In Soviet Russia bright red will blend you man.

Re:In Michigan? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750663)

In Florida, CmdrTaco would be telling Sergey Brin to get off his lawn, man.

Re:In Michigan? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750833)

I hope he dies.

Re:In Michigan? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751393)

Yep. He's right. I live in Florida.

Now get off my lawn!

Re:In Michigan? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751743)

Will this be a one-way ticket?

Re:In Michigan? (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751415)

Right after molesting his sceintologist grandparents and 'rastlin' a gator that snuck into his above ground pool behind his trailer.

Its Florida, it deserves more credit than that.

(Disclaimer: I'm from Florida)

Re:give him more than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750589)

Don't tell him to wear a red shirt! The shuttle will probably crash into him or something!

Re:give him more than that (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752833)

Don't mix red shirts and space travel.

Rather too risky for me (3, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750391)

While this may sound like a nice adventure, going into space, if I had a billion, its the last thing I would ever want to do, because it is so risky. There are a million things that can go wrong, space flight has a high rate of occurance of accidents, when you are in orbit, as well, there is not much anyone on ground can do to help you when you get into trouble. So certainly, it is a huge gamble, and not one I would be comfortable with.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750433)

Totally worth it IMO

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

Ramss Morales (13327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750587)

Seconded.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

joelwyland (984685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750827)

Utterly worth it. In every single way. Risk <<< Reward.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751127)

I would be terrified going up and coming back. But it would hands down be worth every penny!!!

Re:Rather too risky for me (5, Insightful)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752171)

Living is about what you experience. Everyone's risk-to-experience tolerance is different. Some people only feel alive and free when they sky dive, while others think it's a silly risk. Some people have full and happy lives doing nothing more than playing scrabble. Space travel is a huge risk for an amazing experience that only a handful of humans have. You could die, but the dead don't feel regret for failing to take a chance on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

loudawg (1105787) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752671)

Agreed. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Re:Rather too risky for me (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750697)

Good thing space exploration isn't in your hands, then.

Re:Rather too risky for me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750699)

And that is one reason you do not have a billion.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752289)

I have a billion nanodollars.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

MarkKnopfler (472229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751013)

The fact that he is doing it although it is risky, is probably the reason he has the billion dollars in the first place.

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751255)

If I had a billion I might think about it, but if I 'only' had $5-30 million I could think of things that would give much more satisfaction overall. It would be cool to experience Zero G, see the earth from space, see the stars more clearly, etc, but personally I think I'd probably find SCUBA diving in the carribean much more fun.. you don't have to pee into a bottle when you're in the sea.

In a hearbeat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751493)

I would go in a heartbeat. It isn't financially possible for me (yet) but given the chance - I'd go.

There's a 4.1% chance of dying (thanks to the editable Wikipedia).

In perspective, police officers have a 3.06% chance of being injured or killed.

I enjoy life but it isn't for the weak. I've climbed mountains, swam in shark water, explored 3rd world countries alone, camped in the jungle, explored the remote regions of Alaska.

I've almost died many times. If I ever did die, my family would understand I enjoy life and understood the risks. I can't live a life of safety and comfort. That's just existing.

captcha: careen

D~y

Re:Rather too risky for me (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23753051)

Well, juat to be sure, you could rent a whole floor of a hotel and never go out and disinfect everything you touch...

one step closer (4, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750413)

Google is now just one step closer to founding the Copernicus Center [google.com] ,... ;-)

Re:one step closer (1)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750721)

I agree - this is definitely a cover story for the real mission: establishing an evil lunar base. With their control of the Internets and a moon base, they will become unstoppable.

I for one welcome my new Google overlords!

Re:one step closer (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751939)

I believe you mean you welcome out new galactic over-Lord British!

Re:one step closer (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752283)

Pssh, Rainz'll take him out sooner or later.

Re:one step closer (1)

youtellme (1305923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750783)

Ridiculous indulgence, aristocratic nonsense.

Green Space Adventures (5, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750417)

Kinda offsets driving a Prius, doesn't it?

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750473)

If the shuttle or the soyuz is going up anyway, it's not like paying for a ticket is going to change much. I guess Brin could pay a carbon offset for the fuel required for the delta-v of his mass (~150-250lbs).

Re:Green Space Adventures (2, Insightful)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750557)

I never really understood the purpose of "buying carbon offsets". To me, it's just a total advertising gimmick. I mean, people aren't actually changing their behaviors and lifestyle choices to live a more environmentally-friendly life. It's basically just a way to say, "Fine! Go ahead and keep polluting the earth and destroying the ozone! But as long as you give lots of money to , it's all ok!"

Re:Green Space Adventures (2, Informative)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750737)

Suppose that the cash goes toward planting trees, research, efficiency upgrades -- something like that. Then it might make sense. But cutting out the middle man might make a lot more sense. I suppose it depends on how much you trust your carbon offset broker.

Personally, I've yet to hear a compelling case as to why (and to whom) I should be making this sort of donation.

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750943)

Oh, and the hole-in-the-ozone thing, caused by CFC propellants, is very "eighties". Yes, it's real, and yes, it probably going to be giving penguins cancer for many years to come -- but the crisis that in the headlines these days is the greenhouse effect aka global warming aka global climate change. No weird chemicals involved, just regular "harmless" CO2.

This is part of the reason that global warming took a while to catch on as something to panic about. It's easy to condemn nasty things like sulfur, lead, and carbon monoxide. It's pretty easy to make a case against not-found-in-nature compounds like CFCs. But CO2 is naturally occuring, not stinky or poisonous, and has been described as a harmless (or even beneficial) byproduct of combustion for many decades.

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751715)

Anything in large amounts can be deadly.

Re:Green Space Adventures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752465)

Well, actually CO2 is quite poisonous in high concetrations.

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751659)

http://www.terrapass.com/projects/ [terrapass.com]

I buy offsets because I think it's the right thing to do to work towards a solution regarding climate change. Eventually, it'll either be legislated (i.e: required, via a tax on fuel) or the price of oil will go so high that consumption will drop drastically on it's on (i.e. the current situation in the US).

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751131)

Guess you've never heard of plenary indulgences [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Green Space Adventures (3, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751347)

It's just outsourcing your environmental concerns :)

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751555)

^5

I'm right there with you. My more in-tune-with-yuppiedom friends spoke feverishly about how they 'buy carbon offsets', yet I noted they still drive 10-15mpg vehicles and have poor insulation with all the glamorous wall sized windows to maximize the view of the lake outside their place.

Paying a 'non profit' to plant a tree will not reduce the amount of energy they consume. Level of consumption is the problem, not just additional trees.

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751629)

Actually, it's pretty easy to understand buying carbon offsets (if you're an intelligent, altruistic human being). If you're the kind of person who enjoys pushing the externalities of oil consumption onto other people, resulting in a tragedy of the commons situation, than you wouldn't see the point of carbon offsets.

I've reduced my carbon emissions as much as possible in my home, at the business I own, and with my vehicles (2 hybrids and an all electric on the way). Carbon offsets let me offset that last bit of carbon I have no choice in emitting due to current technologies (I use terrapass.com, not a plug, just anecdotal info).

Feel free not to offset your carbon emissions if that's how you feel about it. I expect to see it built into the price of fuel sooner than later (adds about 6-8 cents/gallon).

carbon offsets (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751839)

It can be a total advertising gimmick and money-shuffling scam, just like any other activity. However, the concept carbon offsets, and any deceit promulgated in its name, is based on is valid.

Carbon dioxide is a globally well-mixed gas. Hence, removing CO2 from the atmosphere at any point on the planet balances out adding CO2 to the atmosphere at any other point on the planet. How, and even if, that CO2 removal is accomplished is where the duplicity & deceitfulness comes into play.

CO2 physically removed ("captured") from the atmosphere, e.g. GRT's ACCESS system [grestech.com] , is wholly different than campaigns to plant a tree (short term organic storage) or invest in solar/wind/etc... R&D (high potential of flaky accounting). There is also the case of outright fraud, where money is taken & no service performed.

Carbon offsets are the stopgap for the fact that change takes time and an acknowledgment that you are creating a mess and paying to clean it up.

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752949)

Well the shuttle is close carbon free last time I checked. 2LH2+Lo2= 2 H20 and a lot of heat.
Now the SRBs probably do produce some CO2 but I am not sure of the exact chemistry of the binder.

Now Soyuz isn't carbon free at all but then it will probably burn less full than Brin burns in private 767 in a year.
It is good to be the king.

How do we calculate MPG? (4, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750657)

How do we calculate MPG? Sure, it's a shitload of fuel just to go 213 miles up (*), but then you can coast for ~3 million miles!

Re:How do we calculate MPG? (3, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751513)

In that case, he'll have a negative carbon footprint.
Goodbye Tesla.
Hello Lamborghini!

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

old and new again (985238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752189)

as if we give a crap about being green, he is going to the ISS with a scheduled flight, there is nothing added to what was previously calculated and , will people let go that stupid carbon thing, it's starting to get boring

Re:Green Space Adventures (1)

josieprogramme (1305957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752535)

Maybe it helps that some of the emissions are dispelled into space and therefore don't contribute to global warming.

2nd Generation of the Space Age (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750489)

Richard Garriott will be America's first 2nd generation astronaut and will be onboard with Russia's first 2nd generation cosmonaut - Sergey Volkov. A great way to express the new space age of international cooperation.

Google landscaping (1)

Manchot (847225) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750531)

Make sure to wave when you are over Michigan man. I'll be the one on my lawn green with envy.
Am I the only one who read that as "I'll be the one on my green lawn with envy?"

Re:Google landscaping (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751379)

You must be new here - I for one know that in Soviet Slashdot Meme-phrase, green is people, and lawn envies you!

Lord British does it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750613)

I'm glad to see that Lord British has $30 million dollars to his name that he can blow on this. I wish he would buy Origin back and make another game worth playing.

Re:Lord British does it! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752043)

I'm glad to see that Lord British has $30 million dollars to his name that he can blow on this. I wish he would buy Origin back and make another game worth playing.
He's probably made so much money from the Ultima games at this point, he never needs to make another game again.

As a side note: I met him once at a convention. We talked about gaming, computers, this and that. I had a friend who was with me.

As we walked away, said "Do you know who that was?"
Me: "Uh, no".
Friend: "Lord British!"
"Me: "No way. He was just some guy."
Friend: "No, really it was Lord British!"

It wasn't till I saw a picture of his picture a long time after that I realized that it was Lord British! Doh!

Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750679)

Chalk me up on someone who is quite jealous of S. Brin over this! I mean the vast richest he has _earned_ is of no concern to me. The fact that he gets to not only go into space, but he gets to be tagged with being the first person in space via a private venture is enough to make even the modest geek envious. Thanks for helping the door for the rest of us to follow you through in the future though.

I hope to follow the same path someday and pay for myself to float around for a few days in space ;) - Then again, who doesn't?

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (1)

Kevin72594 (1301889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751005)

Not the first person... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Simonyi#Space_tourist [wikipedia.org]

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751129)

Simony went up on a Soyuz. We're not talking about the same thing with Brin. If things go as planned he'll get there via a privately owned and operated flight. It will still be a Soyuz but it won't be owned and operated by any government agency. Hence it's the first private spaceflight.

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (3, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752109)

It'll be flown by a Russian commander, out of the Russian launch complex in Balkinour.

Call it whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but it's a Russian rocket, piloted by a Russian commander, launched out of a Russian spaceport. I guarantee you communications are run through Korolev. Space Adventures purchased a flight, not the flight hardware. This is not privatized space travel. Look to small companies in the southeast US - SpaceX, XCOR, Armadillo, Blue Origin if you want to see "private spaceflight"

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751217)

It's ok, I know reading is very hard!

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751869)

I could give a shit either way. Do you know how many people you could HELP with $5 million, like real bonified food on the table for dinner kind of help?

His little toy trip into space is not going to benefit mankind, unless he is explicitly going to perform dangerous experiments that could put his life at risk other than just riding along or pressing a few buttons at the direction of an astronaut, in which case perhaps I could feel a need to encourage him.

Or on a more greedily humorous note, he could just give it to me and I'd provide for my wife and kids, get a house, open a business, buy a vacation home in Costa Rica, and happily contribute to the economies of both the US and Costa Rica. Oh and probably buy some food for some of the poor people that I would force to work for me. Then eventually when I make untold riches in real estate and government bonds, buy my own trip to space, point and laugh at all the rest of the poor people still on earth. When in Rome, eh? ;)

I hope to christ that if I ever DO get that much money, I'll still be mentally competent and human enough to actually spend a good chunk of it helping others, and not subtly justify helping myself under the guise of helping others. I'm of course referring to Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, with the MS linked school technology 'donations'.

Cheers.

Re:Now THAT is a vacation - I for one am jealous (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752191)

I could give a shit either way. Do you know how many people you could HELP with $5 million, like real bonified food on the table for dinner kind of help?

It's not like the money just vanishes into thin air, you know. Sergei gives it to someone else, who ends up giving it to someone else, who gives it to someone else, who gives it to someone else... and so the economy rolls on. You could argue that spending the money does a lot more good for society than just leaving it in the bank.

BTW, why are you sitting there reading Slashdot when you could be volunteering at your local homeless shelter?

Smart Guy (1)

sammyo (166904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750729)

Oh yea duh... but waiting for all the modules to be installed should make it even more fun. I wonder what it would cost to make a space walk? Gotta get going on that web3.0 killer app.

sergei's house (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23750755)

Hey Sergei, when do we get to see your house, and vehicles, and kids, and visitors, on Google Earth? If it's not evil, then you should have no objections. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.


yeah I know it's off-topic- I just hate seeing billionaire hypocrites lauded as heroes.

Re:sergei's house (1)

galoise (977950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751381)

do you know where he lives? because hiding his house is one thing, but not disclosing his address to the first slashdot troll that asks to see his house in goolge earth doesn't sound as a terribly hipocrytic thing to me...

A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (3, Insightful)

Subm (79417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750791)

It would be great if he would spend at least a comparable amount of money to plant trees or something else to help the environment for the amount of CO2 and other pollution he's going to cause to be put into the atmosphere.

I guess he has the right to pollute all he wants, but launching yourself into orbit dwarfs the effect on the environmental most people would ever cause. People get the value of protecting the Earth from viewing it from space. Usually that perspective ends up happening afterward. I hope Brin gets it beforehand.

"...From up there, it looks finite and it looks fragile and it really looks like just a tiny little place on which we live in a vast expanse of space. It gave me the feeling of really wanting us all to take care of the Earth. I got more of a sense of Earth as home, a place where we live. And of course you want to take care of your home. You want it clean. You want it safe."
-- Winston Scott, two-time shuttle astronaut

"You change because you see your life differently than when you live on the surface everyday. ... We are so involved in our own little lives and our own little concerns and problems. I don't think the average person realizes the global environment that we really live in. I certainly am more aware of how fragile our Earth is, and, frankly, I think that I care more about our Earth because of the experiences I've had traveling in space."
-- Eileen Collins, first female space shuttle commander.

I'm sure he has friends who read Slashdot. If you are one of them, could you ask him to think and do something about how his actions will affect the rest of us?

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751447)

I get your point, but I think people need to actually experience that 'aha moment'. It's not enough in my opinion to say someone should understand something before they've experienced it. Also, someone with his means and influence is just the type of person that should have this kind of experience because he has the ability to come back and do something big.

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751711)

Alternately, we could stop giving in to global warming hysteria and recognize that there are carbon producing activities more important than eliminating positive carbon emissions. Space tourism, for example, easily meets this weak threshhold. Yes, sending rich guys on joy rides in space is more important than token gestures of support for environmentalism.

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751771)

I guess he has the right to pollute all he wants, but launching yourself into orbit dwarfs the effect on the environmental most people would ever cause.

So because he's going up it's bad, even if the rocket were headed up anyway? By that logic the space program should be ended entirely. Never mind that he'll probably do it once in his life whereas millions of cars keep dumping crap into the atmosphere every day at an order of magnitude more per day.

Usually that perspective ends up happening afterward. I hope Brin gets it beforehand.

And not go. Right. Fuck that. Given the chance I'd go in a heartbeat, as would most slashdot readers. But of course they should not go. Because rocket launches are such horrible, horrible sources of pollution.

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752175)

How is riding along on a flight already taking place expending more energy & emitting more CO2?

Besides, Google has spent more money already on alternative energy research & other environmental friendliness than Brin is spending on this space flight.

http://www.google.com/corporate/green/energy/reducing.html [google.com]

As part of that responsibility, Google has committed to being carbon-neutral for 2007 and beyond. To honor our pledge, we're taking a three-step approach. First, we're increasing the energy efficiency of our own operations. Second, we're actively pursuing the use and creation of clean and renewable sources of electricity. Third, for the emissions we can't reduce directly at this time, we're investing in projects that help offset carbon generated.

"Our goal is to build 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal, and we are optimistic that this can be done within years, not decades." - Larry Page

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (1)

old and new again (985238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752301)

will you people please stop it with these green crap thing, can't we just be jealous/happy for a second without hippies barfing on our parade all the time?

Re:A lot of energy and CO2 for one guy's amusement (2, Interesting)

Digital End (1305341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752933)

While you are saying that, would you mind disabling your cellphone, gps, tv, and anything else space travel has given you? k thx

Front lawn (2, Funny)

CowboyNealOption (1262194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750801)

If you live in Michigan and still have a front lawn that hasn't washed away, consider yourself lucky.

What a waste. (1, Interesting)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750819)

$30 million to go into space. Yea, it's a great adventure [for him], but do you know how much good you could do with that money? I won't bother to seach the web for how many children he could feed or how many mosquito nets he could purchase, but it shames me to think how much good that money could do instead of giving him a slight adrenaline rush and a story for his grandkids. I'm sure someone will reply with a "relative" comment regarding money I and others who are less fiscally successful spend on things like MMOG's and flat panels, but on a person-by-person basis that's a very small chunk compared to the giant barrel of money he's giving away here.

Re:What a waste. (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751041)

I'm sure someone will reply with a "relative" comment regarding money I and others who are less fiscally successful spend on things like MMOG's and flat panels, but on a person-by-person basis that's a very small chunk compared to the giant barrel of money he's giving away here.
Yes, this usually is the nail in the coffin for this sort of argument. Why should you expect someone else to donate any extra cash they happen to have when you aren't willing to? It does strike me as odd that you go ahead with the argument even though you already know why it's flawed.

Re:What a waste. (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752849)

I can't even retire with my current savings, yet I should be expected to donate rediculous sums? We're talking about someone who has so much money that he could live more comfortable then 99.5% of Americans on less then one-tenth of one percent of his net worth. I'm not sure you can really compare our situations.

Re:What a waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751071)

So how much he has spent on feeding children and buying mosquito nets? I'm assuming you know otherwise you can't really make make the complaint, or does he have to spend *all* his money on feeding children?

Re:What a waste. (5, Insightful)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751147)

You're acting like the Russians are just going to take his dollars and burn them in a furnace, or that somehow those dollars are going to be taken out of circulation, never to be used for anything ever again.

Realize that his $30 million is going to be spent by the Russians; on the development of new technology, on fuel (and hence, on employees of the energy companies), on paying engineers and scientists; on all the things required to maintain a space program.

If you want to support an industry - and most people on slashdot probably believe the space industry is one worth supporting - the best thing you can do is to buy their product. That's exactly what he's doing.

Re:What a waste. (2, Insightful)

blahk_lyte (1305925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751189)

Well, to be honest, it isn't your money to spend. The man busted his ass to give him self the life he wanted. If he wants to spend his money by taking a rediculously expensive vacation, then good for him. Richard Garriot has done a lot in revolutionizing one of the biggest markets on the gamefront with his ideas and I can guarantee you he deserves it. I have worked with him in Austin on the UO project and he deserves it. [/end opinionated rantflame]

Re:What a waste. (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752915)

Please, this is really a weak argument for hoarding more cash then you know what to do with. If people who exceeded a certain finanical status could apply Forrest Gump's logic the world would be a better place. I'll paraphrase for those that haven't seen the movie: "Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off."

Re:What a waste. (5, Informative)

Miladinoski (1280850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751445)

According to google.org [google.org] Google has donated $33 milion from AdSense adverts to more than 850 nonprofit organisations in 10 countries throught the world.

The Make-A-Wish [wish.org] foundation has received more than 25% of all the online donations from Google.

Google has given more than 30% of all the yearly donations to the Doctors without borders program.

Google has also donated to the Grameen Foundation [grameenfoundation.org] located in the US and $2 mils to the OLPC [mit.edu] project...

Read more here [blogspot.com]

Re:What a waste. (3, Insightful)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752323)

I'm sure someone will reply with a "relative" comment regarding money I and others who are less fiscally successful spend on things like MMOG's and flat panels, but on a person-by-person basis that's a very small chunk compared to the giant barrel of money he's giving away here.
Here's your "relative" comment.

Sergey Brin's net worth is reported at $18.7 billion dollars. That $30 million ticket is 0.16% of his net worth.

If you have a $200K net worth, e.g. investments, home equity, etc..., that space flight ticket is the equivalent of you buying a PS3.

Re:What a waste. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23753067)

Okay but how much money is he already giving away to charity? I do understand what you are saying and I think it would be better for him to spend that money on sending say a scientist up instead of himself but it is his money to with as he chooses.
As long as I don't have to hear him say how people need to save energy while he zips around in his private 767.

But yes if you yourself are not donating money to charity then you have no right to speak. Every little bit counts.

Risky business. (4, Informative)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750955)

I'm jealous and also quite in awe of how brave people are to venture into space. Some sobering stats on manned space flight: 18 of the 430 people who've ventured into space didn't make it back alive. Of course, quite a few astronauts and cosmonauts have flown more than once, but I calculate that the shuttle's overall fatality rate is running at around 1.8%. IOW, the chance of dying is about the same as my chance of winning $10 in this week's 6/49 Lotto. I hope he has a fantastic trip and that he blogs about his experience.

Would I be willing to venture into space if given the chance? I'm not sure. I'd love to have the opportunity to consider it, though.

Re:Risky business. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751531)

Well, as someone who said above I don't see the point for that kind of money, if I could do it for free then I'd definitely consider it. I do vaguely remember hearing about a Soyuz blowing up though? The benefits would probably outweigh the cost if it cost up to 1000 pounds for me, but over that I wouldn't consider it worth it :p

Re:Risky business. (1)

LeoDavinci578 (795523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752157)

Would I be willing to venture into space if given the chance? I'm not sure. I'd love to have the opportunity to consider it, though.

Are you a politician? Because you sound a hell of a lot like Congress : )

Re:Risky business. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752255)

"Would I be willing to venture into space if given the chance? I'm not s-"

If you spoke this out loud, you'd be interrupted by billions of people who would be willing to go into space at the drop of a hat.

similar to Everest stats (to year 2000) (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752359)

Up to the turn of the century about as many people summited Everest and went into space with a similar fatality rate. With pampered guided tours recently, the Everest summits are about triple.

ISS Space "Tourism" is a waste of money... (-1, Flamebait)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23750975)

Not for the tourist, but for NASA. Look at it this way, the space station costs 40 billion dollars (when you consider the space shuttle expenitures to put the thing up and service it), holds ~3 people, and has a lifetime of perhaps 10 years. That means that each person-day cost us, the taxpayers, 4 million or so.

Yet the Russians aren't giving the money from the tourists to Nasa, they are just paying for part of their own costs.

Re:ISS Space "Tourism" is a waste of money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751119)

It's not Futurama yet. I hope these tourists get bored of the dark space in there and come back $30m poorer.

Huh? (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751209)

I thought the Russians announced that they were no longer doing the space tourism gig, and that space tourism was going to be the realm of private industry from that point forward.

I know he's booking through a separate agency, but the Russians are still hauling the meat in the seat.

And so it comes to this.. (2, Insightful)

consonant (896763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751559)

  • Mark Shuttleworth
  • Charles Simonyi
  • Richard Garriott
  • Sergey Brin

Earth or not, the geek are sure inheriting space!

Ummm...excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751723)

I'm sorry...Google 'largely conquered Earth'? WTF is that supposed to mean?

NOT NEWS, DOESN'T MATTER (0, Troll)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751777)

This story desperately needed to be rejected before it got this far. Just because it says Google doesn't mean it should be posted.

What are Google's "Brin Books" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23751877)

What does it mean that the Brin Books are a space flight??

Garriott (1)

moskrin (53287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23751915)


I'd think if Lord British wanted to go into space, he'd just use a moongate

Should have sold out (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752041)

Make sure to wave when you are over Michigan, man. I'll be the one on my lawn, green with envy.


Well Taco, you should have sold your VA stock right after the IPO then.

(I keed. I Keed.)

Spend it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752435)

Better spend the money now before the government takes it away [barackobama.com] .

If I had the money... (1)

lantastik (877247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752475)

If I had the money, I might do it, but since I don't...what an egomaniacal, opulent ass.

DéjÃ-vu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752521)

Looks like Brin will be soon backing a brand new awesome Linux distribution.

The space hotel my tax dollars built (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752575)

Whoa, when did the IIS become a space hotel? Are the russians kicking out real sceintists so they can jam a billionaire in there for a quick infusion of cash? How is that in the spirit of space research and exploration?

Michigan Man (1)

jerryodom (904532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23752981)

Who is Michigan Man and why are you mowing his lawn?

Very cool that Brin is taking the flight. I suppose the financial comparison is something like me splurging on going skydiving.

Where is the source of the quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23752991)

I could not find a reference to where the quote came from, can any one point me at the source ?
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