Dear Crabby, What Do You Think About Space Travel?

Dear Crabby,

I’m old enough to remember when going to space was a big deal. Lately, it seems like anyone with enough cash can take the trip and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Would you ever travel to space?

Dr. Lazarus

Dear Dr. Lazarus,

You’re old enough to remember? I’m so old that I remember when the mere suggestion of going into space seemed preposterous. Those pioneers in the early days of space travel were brave. Shoot. They were basically agreeing to be strapped to a ginormous stick of dynamite and then be shot into the sky. I mean, what sort of straight-thinking person thinks that’s a great idea?

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Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Don’t get me wrong. Space travel is fascinating to watch. Like most of the country on July 20, 1969, I was glued to the TV (and holding my breath) as the Apollo 11 crew of Neal Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins landed on the moon. THE MOON! What I think a lot of people forget is that astronauts spend a lot of time training and dedicate their lives to just having a chance of going into space. For various reasons, some never leave Earth, while others like the crew of Apollo 13 get to space, but their mission doesn’t go as planned. And there is a small number of astronauts who are lucky to make the trip more than once. Obviously, the idea of sending civilians to space isn’t new, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.

Do you remember where you were on January 28, 1986? That was the day The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on live TV, killing the entire seven-person crew, including schoolteacher Crista McAuliffe. If the mission had gone as planned, McAuliffe would have been 73 years old this year. She probably would have been a grandma. So, that’s why I think as thrilling as the idea of going to space is, civilians might want to take a minute to think it through a bit more before hopping on a fancy rocket.  

I’m sure by now most people know that Captain James T. Kirk, (William Shatner) hitched a ride with Amazon gazillionaire Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin. I guess 90-year-old Willie can now say he’s conquered that final frontier – ha! Oh, sure. He didn’t go to the moon, but for 10 glorious minutes, Shatner went to the edge of space. Rides like these can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so I hope every second was worth it. Considering his advanced years and the extreme force the body experiences during space travel of any kind, it’s impressive that the old goat came back to earth in one piece. In fact, I read that the toughest part for him was hoofing it up the stairs to reach the rocket!

Here’s the thing. There are going to be more and more of these space companies popping up. Why? Because there are some people who have more money than brains. Also, because we humans have been fascinated with flight and what’s up in the sky for eons. I like the idea of space travel in theory… or in the movies. So, for the foreseeable future, I plan on keeping my feet firmly on the ground.

Hope that answers your question!
Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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