So I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the orbiter that India sent to Mars for only $75 million, and seen it compared to the U.S. Mars orbiter that cost $672 million. Whatever the reasons for the difference in price, my main concern is that the two orbiters will start orbiting the planet in the same path at the same time, and they’ll be fighting over the armrest, and we’ll have to turn the spaceship around.
The more I think about it, even $75 million starts to sound like a lot. Maybe the first space trip would cost a lot. But that was decades ago, back when there was an evening paper and people had milk delivered to them in a glass bottle. There should have been more cost-effective innovation by now, like what they’ve done with coffee.
There are plenty of places where money can be saved on the Mars orbiter. I hope they didn’t bother installing air conditioning. I’ve found that a good fan well-positioned can cool as quickly, if not more quickly, than central air conditioning, albeit with a plug that can be a trip hazard, especially when one is using a plate with a turkey sandwich on it to balance a large glass of soda.
We shouldn’t be paying for ice either. Space is very cold. All the spaceship has to do is hold a pitcher of water outside the cabin for a few seconds, and poof! Instant ice cubes. The ice cubes would, of course, be in those annoying half-moon shapes that come out of refrigerators. You can’t have everything in life.
The biggest cost-saver would have to be cable and internet. The price that NASA pays to have cable and internet on every one of its spaceships was probably, in the beginning, quite modest. And after a few months, NASA got accustomed to the price, and the astronauts were too tired from walking in slo-mo in those bulky suits to read the monthly cable bill very closely anymore.
In fact, I’m sure that NASA at this point feels rather powerless to do anything against the cable company. But the company is expecting you to do nothing! I wish I could say. Just call up, and say that you heard that other large and inefficient agencies are paying less for cable and internet, and that you as a loyal customer demand the same low price. The cable company will grant your wish. And do you know why? Because they don’t want to lose you as a customer.
Friends, it has been over two days since I shamelessly plugged The Issue Box on this blog, and I suspect that many of you have not had the opportunity to check it out. I know, I know. They’ve been showing episodes of Roseanne. I get it. TV marathons happen. But still there are commercials. So feel free to stop by during a commercial break. Unless it is one of those commercials that is better than the program you were watching. It’s fun when that happens.