Category Archives: Space

Uncle Sam steals space trip

Brian Emmett, a self-described space buff (who has even attended space camp) won a trip to space in an Oracle competition, but he won’t be able to take the ride. That’s because the government counts contest winnings as income, and the tax on the ride would be about $25,000 — a huge chuck of money that the average person (including Emmett) cannot afford to pay.

In an interview with CNN, Emmett said, “There was definitely a period of mourning. I was totally crestfallen. Everything you had hoped for as a kid sort of evaporates in front of you.”

This is a sad story that should be recalled not only in the lead-up to tax season. We should be asking what precisely the government planned to do with that $25,000. Social security is broken, the health care system is a mess and the education system is failing miserably. It’s time for citizens to demand that government become less wasteful and more accountable.

Anousheh Ansari is very cool

I met Anousheh Ansari last Friday before she gave a lecture to an audience at Stanford University. She was the first woman to go into space on a private exploration. She was also the first person to blog from space. For a woman who made it big in the private sector before going on to start the Ansari X-Prize, she was surprisingly shy-seeming and incredibly nice. She hopes her story will inspire women all over the world and I will admit to being one of them (that said, my husband was pretty inspired too). Ansari is very cool.

Sonia and Aydin with Anousheh Ansari