Wired magazine has a hilarious and fascinating piece on training for space tourists, those wealthy former businessmen who cashed out companies and thus have $30 million to blow on a year in training and a week in space on the shuttle. (One of the men profiled in the piece — and they’re always men — refers to himself using the ghastly neologism “thrillionaire.”) As a Russian press liaison says about the attitude toward these dilletantes: “People say it is better to send monkey.”
Then there’s the old-fashioned way: earn it. Not the money, but the job. Meet Megan McArthur, Ph.D. (pictured at right), who went to high school in Mountain View and whose parents live in San Jose. McArthur will be blasting off in October to operate the Big Robot Arm — I’m sure it has a less colorful NASA-like acronym — on a mission to refurbish the Hubble Space Telescope.