Already troubled mother earth by the meteoric rise of the billionaires one British company is offering seats to 500,000-mile round trip in a converted Soviet-era space station that could take place as early as 2015. Isle of Man-based Excalibur Almaz announced at a space tourism meeting in London that it is ready to sell tickets – likely to cost around £100 million per person. If the bold but not beautiful plan succeeds, it will be a private British space company that will carry out the first manned moon mission since Apollo 17 in 1972. Traveling is always welcome and it enriches our depth of knowledge — of the earth, its zenith, nadir, skyscrapers of the billionaires and also the plight of over two billion naked poor, living in shanties and going to bed unfed.
The billionaires of the world have mined everything except the poor people, whom I call the looted, of the planet. Now they will mine the asteroids as claimed by the US space entrepreneur Art Dula, founder and chief executive of the firm. ‘We’ve already had billionaires who have said they will mine the asteroids,’ he said. He outlined his company’s ambitious plan while speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. The aim is for three people to fly to the moon, orbit the lunar surface and return safely to earth. Excalibur Almaz has acquired two Soviet space stations, designed for orbital spying operations. Four re-entry capsules, or re-usable return vehicles (RRVs), will ferry three people at a time to the orbiting space station and return them to earth.
Marketing studies suggested, at a ‘conservative estimate’ that around 30 moon-mission seats could be taken up between 2015 and 2025 – enough for one trip a year. The RRVs can be used 15 times and each space station has a service life of 15 years. Dula says he chose the Isle of Man as of the 54 international space satellite companies, 30 are based on the island.
If the millionaires hanker after to be billionaire and the billionaire hell-bent to be trillionaire the world will have even more poor and a few travelers (probably not more than 427 as the world is estimated to have 427 trillion dollars) though now at least one billion out of seven billion people of the earth are traveling. The trip to the Moon will entice some millionaires to be crorepatis and crorepatis to be billionaires and the billionaires to be trillionaires (One trillion is equal to one lakh crore). As we know that every six poor people out of seven don’t travel even the tourist spots in the neighborhood of their own country let alone flying abroad. More than two billion out of seven can’t afford three square meals a day let alone a car.
It is really ridiculous for the looted, popularly called the poor, to visit a rajbari or king’s palace nearby. You may think what’s wrong in seeing a jamindar bari in our neighborhood. But have you ever thought of way that landlord made money. He must have looted the property of the common people who have become poor over the years. Historically most of the jamindars were plunderer of the land and other properties of their subjects who used to work on farmlands of their landlords, barely earning their bread. At the present day the landlords have been replaced by the multinational corporates, exploiting the billions of poor people albeit in collusion with their capitalist, secular and puppet governments whom them funded during their election. These poor people were once rich, hospitable and friendly. There were social institutes which used to govern the societies on justice. We know who looted their grand grandpa’s properties and built the palace. Even these poor people can earmark some of their hard-earned money and go to see the looted things kept in the royal palace as is the case with British Museum. When Britain’s premiere was asked if they are ready to return Kohinoor to India David Cameroon’s outright answer was ‘no’ adding that if they return all the valuable articles from where they were plundered British Museum will have nothing left.
This is happening all over the world. United Nations World Tourism Organisation has recently reported that this year tourism industry has reached 1 billion mark or 100 crore travelers. Thanks to ever expanding easy jet and easy car industries which cashing in on the cheap Mid East oil. (See my blog post ‘crores of cars: bane or boon’) Since the dawn of human history people liked traveling which is a nature innate and inbuilt in their psyche. People tend to visit places of natural, international and historic importance and even the technological excellence of humanity, satiate their gargantuan appetite for cross-boundary recipe and experience diverse cultures of communities, giving the tourism industry an enormous shape and diversity. Tourism creates scores of scope for both the guests and hosts, creating a win-win situation. For guests traveling is a respite from boxed up and hackneyed feelings, a source of inspiration, a way to take a second look at their own country and thus expanding the knowledge and outlook.
For hosts it is a source of income, a way to fatten the foreign exchange wallet of host country and thus help people to afford trips to the countries of their foreign guests. The relation between hosts and guests is vice versa. With the passage of time a host turns into a guest. But a handful few crorepatis will travel with the plundered properties that can’t be really. If the tourism is to flourish in the real sense the poor six should have the access equitably. The UN should be strengthened to act to put an end to the economic disparity and concentration of wealth. Siphoning of money out of the countries like Botswana and Bangladesh in the name of FDI must be stopped.