Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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NASA Space Lottery

Have NASA hold a lottery for a trip to the moon.
  (+47, -5)(+47, -5)(+47, -5)
(+47, -5)
  [vote for,
against]

With NASA talking about going back to the moon and spending at least $100 billion to get there, a lot of people question what's in it for me. Well, NASA teams with a Television producer and does a show with the winner getting to join the team going to the moon. The contest would begin with a national lottery to select finalists. Do it American Idol style tour where people have to come to a location to buy their $10 chance to be finalist. (Maybe just do this part as a promotion - anyone would be able to buy tickets anywhere though). On the tour they get to meet real astronauts and find out about spaceflight and rocket scientists from real people in the field. You see people talking about their love of spaceflight, and getting pumped up for going to the moon. After selecting finalists, the show shifts to a "Space Camp" type venue, where the finalists compete in training to find out who is able to meet the challenges of being able to go into flight. The winner gets to join in the adventure of going to the moon. Money collected from the lottery and the sponsorship of the show would pay for the extra person, and that person would have to document their trip to the moon for broadcast if\when they made it back.

I think this sort of reality TV\personal adventure would get people excited about space again.

trekbody, Oct 03 2005

(??) Recently baked. http://www.cnn.com/....ride.ap/index.html
But winner could not afford the taxes. [Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 29 2007]

Florida lottery rejects space flight as prize (2003) http://www.cnn.com/...ttery.ap/index.html
"It was an intriguing enough concept to present to our focus groups ... but people like to win cash." [jutta, May 06 2008]

Endemol: Space Cadets (2005) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Cadets
Reality TV. Participants are convinced they're in space; actually, they're in a simulator. [jutta, May 06 2008]

[link]






       Throw in some education about paragraph breaks and you can count me in...I've got ten bucks.
normzone, Oct 03 2005
  

       Wow. That'd be the opportunity of a lifetime. [+]
st3f, Oct 03 2005
  

       st3f, - That'd be an excellent halfbakery idea. Quick, post it!
Ian Tindale, Oct 03 2005
  

       [readies time machine]
st3f, Oct 03 2005
  

       Space exploration is one of the few things too expensive for reality tv to pay for. Every little helps though, so here's my $10. And a pastry.
wagster, Oct 03 2005
  

       Not everyone with $x would make a suitable astronaut.
phoenix, Oct 03 2005
  

       Break a fifty?
Nevermind, give me five.
  

       That's the point [phoenix], that's why you do an X-Factor / American Idol sort of show where you find the best candidate out of 100,000 odd entrants.
wagster, Oct 04 2005
  

       Right - the lottery would get you in the running, but you would still have to "fight it out" with lets say 20 contenders to see who the most capable is. And with part of the missing being to document\report - maybe you include some public voting - that way you at least get some charisma \ screen presence.
trekbody, Oct 07 2005
  

       //do an X-Factor / American Idol sort of show where you find the best candidate // In the case of American Idol, the least worst candidate.
coprocephalous, Oct 07 2005
  

       Seesh. More NASA propoganda.
ldischler, Oct 07 2005
  

       Bun. Here is my issue with this though: The economics are all wrong. The going rate for a trip to space is $20 million dollars. A US millionaire just paid that amount to go up to the space station with the Russian space program. So you can put on this contest and hope you get 2,000,000 people to pitch in $10 each or you can set your rate at $20 million and start fishing for millionaires. But anyway...
Gusbus, Oct 07 2005
  

       I wasn't thinking you could pay the whole way for someone, although I think there are enough people who would buy multiple chances. I was thinking that by adding an element of including the public (those who want to be included) and broadcasting the "contest" you would create excitement. You are also not taking into account fees that NASA could collect from show sponsors - I imagine that a network might pay for the priviledge, sort of like paying for broadcasting the Olympics. Even if it did not fully pay for itself - the PR would give NASA a shot in the arm.
trekbody, Oct 07 2005
  

       -------------- --------------- --------------- -------------------- "Seesh. More NASA propoganda." - ldischler ------------- ---------------- ---------------- ------------------ I'm not a even a huge fan of NASAs current direction with the $100 billion trip to the moon. I actually think we should pour half of that into getting a space elevator up and then we could all go for a ride. BUT, with the plan currently to go to the moon, why not send one of "US" up with them and get John Q. Public excited about the endeavor?
trekbody, Oct 07 2005
  

       Like the teacher in space?
ldischler, Oct 07 2005
  

       This is a terrible idea. I mean the landing on the moon part, not the idea itself. All it's gonna do is piss off the Moon people even more and they'll attack us again, and we all remember what happened last time. Those of us that survived, anyway.
AfroAssault, Oct 07 2005
  

       Sorry I haven't been back in a while - to respond to ldischler - yes sort of like McAuliffe - which was an idea I liked but obviously didn't work out (so sad for her and the rest of the Challenger crew). But, I'm not quite sure where your comment is going - everyone would understand the risks at this point. A few wouldn't go out of fear - many Americans would suppress their fears and worries for a chance to go into space. I think the problem with a McAuliffe-like selection was that it seemed a politcal selection, not something that could happen to Joe Everyone and get them excited.
trekbody, Nov 16 2005
  

       Question: would I be the first troll in space? I fear my only chance will be if they turn the Moon into a penal colony, but hey, it worked for Australia.
moomintroll, Nov 16 2005
  

       ***MATH FLAW***   

       $100 billion cost / $10 per ticket = 10 billion tickets   

       =1.6 tickets per person ON EARTH. = about 20 tickets per person in the US   

       space travel's madd expensive
sninctown, Nov 16 2005
  

       I'd buy tickets even for the remote chance to sit in on a "routine" ISS trip.   

       I think it would be fairly easy to sell tickets. But then you'd also have revenue from; TV show advertisers, text msg voting for finalists, video sales from documenting the trip, and whatever else the marketeers could think up.
Big happy bun. [+]
  

       Rough estimates if received almost as well as American Idol:   

       $100 million for 10 million entry tickets (over a year-long campaign)
$100 million through sponsorship and ads (for a full TV selection season)
$500 million text message voting (Idol TM grossed $532 in '02)
$100 million return book, parapheneilia, movie, misc.
Total: $800 million
50% Margin = $400 million
  

       Current cost of one NASA ISS space shuttle run is $600 million. (Almost 30x equivalent privatized standards.)   

       Even though these numbers are aggressive, partially privatizing this one trip would free up a ton of tax money to put into education and other earthly things. For example, the FIPSE lost $496 mil in May just this year due to added War on Terror money needs. This recouped money could allow them to create more programs that train more people to figure out how to reduce the bloated NASA costs.   

       mmmmm Tang.
Zuzu, Nov 16 2005
  

       sninctown, I agree it is not going to pay the whole way - It will pay a little of the way (1-10% maybe). But if we are going anyway, then it is greatly more than we would have taken in if we hadn't had a lottery. Again - the side benefit being getting people excited about space - feeling there is actually something in it for them.
trekbody, Nov 18 2005
  

       + for anything that might get me into space (that'd be worth giving up smoking for) but I agree with the bit about the elevator. All this buggering about with rockets is inefficient and lame; even when the shuttle was flying we didn't have the capacity to shift anything of appreciable size into space. Once we can get an asteriod or two in orbit and a string around one of them getting to the moon will be a piece of cake.
stilgar, Dec 29 2005
  

       // $100 billion cost / $10 per ticket = 10 billion tickets =1.6 tickets per person ON EARTH. = about 20 tickets per person in the US //   

       At least they would get a little extra money.
apocalyps956, Sep 01 2006
  

       Lots of people like me would purchase multiple tickets. (I'm in for $10/month from now until the drawing!) People who know me might give them to me as gifts, increasing my effective contribution and reducing the number of individuals who have to buy tickets to break even. Gazillionaires might buy in large quantities.   

       Imagine the Christmas gift-giving ad campaigns!
gardnertoo, Jan 27 2007
  

       Yeah, but the winner could not afford the taxes. see link
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 29 2007
  

       This idea is some day soon going to become real.   

       Endemol Productions (a Dutch house) announced a few months ago they were going to make "format" around this.   

       Which makes one wonder how many people they're going to send up to space.   

       Checking for link.
django, May 04 2008
  

       Oh, it was a hoax. I didn't know!
django, May 06 2008
  

       //The economics are all wrong. The going rate for a trip to space is $20 million dollars.// $20M only gets you into orbit and back. Going to the moon is not quite as cheap or easy.
Jscotty, May 06 2008
  

       someone send this to NASA!
simonj, May 12 2009
  

       Okay, You've finally found a reality concept I would not only watch, but like to participate in. Put me down for 10-20 tickets.

I suspect the taxes thing could be worked out, it would require a federal law passed to authorize this, said law could make it tax exempt quite easily.

MechE, May 12 2009
  

       Do this and I'll actually play the lottery.
FlyingToaster, Jul 22 2009
  
      
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