OPINION — With all the celebrities and rich people going to space lately, you might be interested to know that interstellar travel is not just for the wealthy. You, too, can blast off to the stars, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg and a kidney and a spleen. For a nominal fee, you can visit the moon. Sort of.
A company called LifeShip has evidently contracted with SpaceX to offer a special deal to the average Joe, or whatever your average name happens to be. For a nominal fee of $99 LifeShip will send a sample of your personal, private DNA to the moon on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Your DNA will then spend the rest of eternity, or however much time there is between now and Armageddon, orbiting earth and chilling in its very own moon crater. Or something.
Now, I realize this sounds way too good to be true, but we live in amazing times. Not long ago, like maybe a week, a regular person like yourself could only dream of sending his or her or its cellular data into space. But now, thanks to modern technology, it’s possible for only a Benjamin. What a world.
You will, of course, need to send your DNA sample to LifeShip, but once they get your money you’ll receive a DNA collection kit in the mail, along with your collectible mission patch and a limited edition boarding pass. When the mission is complete they’ll send you a digital certificate, suitable for framing. You’ll probably need to print that out yourself.
Not only that, but if you act fast, for a limited time LifeShip is offering to send some of your DNA to the International Space Station. Yes, NASA is on board with this thing. Never let anyone tell you the United States Federal Gubmint is not for sale. Just ask congress.
Once you’ve sent your sample in, you’ll get notices about when your ship will take off, so you can arrange a community watch party. Imagine the surprised look on your friends’ faces when you tell them some of your DNA is going to the moon. Imagine your friends backing away slowly, never taking their eyes off of you, just in case. Imagine your neighbors hurriedly dragging their kids inside the house when they see you in your yard. Good times.
As if it couldn’t get any better, this offer is not limited to humans. You can also send your pet’s DNA up there along with yours, for an extra C-note. LifeShip offers what looks like package deals, so you can share this incredible journey with up to five other people and four animals. I don’t think there’s a discount, per se, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing your genetic material will sit there on the moon in good company. The peta people will probably object to your taking your pet’s DNA without its consent, but they’re always whining about something. Pay no attention.
The LifeShip site has a section that includes reasons why you might want to get in on this stellar deal, as if you needed any encouragement. It says that, by going on a DNA Moon Mission, you will realize your dreams of going to space, preserve your DNA for the far future in the record of humanity, and join a purposeful mission to expand humanity to the stars. Hey, LifeShip, shut up and take my money.
Honestly, I’m not sure everyone has dreamed of going to space. I know for a fact some have had nightmares about it, especially after watching certain Matt Damon movies. And if pressed I would have to say not everyone’s DNA should be preserved for the far future in the record of humanity. I’ve been to Walmart. Some people’s DNA probably shouldn’t be preserved for next Tuesday. Just sayin.
I’m also a little skeptical about the claim of my DNA joining a purposeful mission to expand humanity to the stars. I’m no scientist, but I doubt my DNA sample will know it’s flying into the great beyond, to begin with. It’s just DNA, after all. It’s not like it has its own cell plan. Sorry, I couldn’t pass that up.
The mission might arguably be purposeful, although that’s pretty doubtful, but my DNA won’t add much, in any case. I wasn’t even all that good at math. I’m thinking, once they got outside earth’s atmosphere, my sample would be the first one they’d flush down the toilet, to save space.
The LifeShip site also offers testimonials from satisfied customers, just in case you’re on the fence about this fantastic opportunity. Bill W. reportedly said, ‘The thought of knowing I sent my DNA to the moon for only $99 gives me goosebumps!’ Me too, Bill W. Me too.
Interestingly, none of the testimonials came from people with last names, only last initials. Scott L. offered, ‘Great experience, looking forward to the launch! Got this for my wife’s birthday, and she thought it was cool.’
For the record, Scott L. is a liar. His wife did not think it was cool. She thought, and I quote, ‘I should’ve listened to my parents. I married a man too dumb to pour DNA out of a boot with the directions written on the heel.’
All I know is, if LifeShip ever offers to preserve a congressperson’s DNA sample on earth and send the actual congressperson to the moon for a hundred bucks, I’m in . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and minister who keeps his DNA to himself. Write to him at [email protected]