Watch an astronaut play liquid ping pong in space

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Maybe I just have a shrivelled soul coated in the same cryogenic ichor that sustains my unnatural life; but (based on OIG numbers) that’s a guy on a 75 billion dollar space station that costs, depending on your estimate, between $340,000/hr and $450,000/hr.

Hopefully he does lots of useful science really, really, fast when he isn’t hamming it up for youtube; because otherwise I think that we might be mis-allocating scientific funds.


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I feel that the recent uptick in “look at the cool things we can do on the space station” videos, are an attempt to raise public interest in space travel.

After all, if people don’t care about going to space, NASA and other similar agencies may find it difficult to raise the funds necessary for space travel.

Or, he could just be screwing around in his free time.


Just so. You can get plenty of hard data back from a space probe, but it’s the pretty pictures that’ll get the next one funded.

Take away the hard science and the station is still worth it, because there’s also engineering. Learning how to live in space in the long-term, trying new generations of hardware and procedures with the lessons learned from what came before.

Automobiles, telephones, cell phones, airplanes and much of what else we take for granted all started out as thoroughly impractical, impossibly expensive and often dangerous experiments. They all went through the same development curve.

Launching and operating an unmanned satellite is a lot cheaper and a lot less risky than it used to be, and it’s a safe bet that the trend will continue. With private companies now in the manned launch and space station business, the same thing will happen with manned spaceflight.

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By your logical deconstruction, Chris Hadfield’s cover of “Space Oddity” cost roughly 3 to 4 million to produce, estimating his time at about 10 hours for practice, performance, editing and uploading. Hey, not great but not horrible for a music video!

To be fair, most of the practice and all of the editing and uploading was done on the ground at a FAR cheaper rate.

And just think how many millions of dollars we waste by allowing astronauts to eat and sleep instead of hooking them up to some kind of intravenous nutrition/stimulant system for the duration of their mission.

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The same applies to college students.

An intriguing proposal to bring the meat-laggards up to the standards of their robotic counterparts… It doesn’t much improve the value of dinking around in low earth orbit; but it’s definitely better than nothing. Let’s do it.

Actually one of the clients for our UWP “app factory” (essentially a student development group) just gifted us with an espresso machine. Meeting attendance has improved since, even with many students being off campus during our Winter session.

That’s why I estimated low. Probably 10 hours spent in space doing the various takes.

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