What three things do Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Sir Richard Branson have in common? No, they didn’t spend time in quarantine together. Nor did they meet President Nixon.
- They’re billionaires.
- They’ve invested millions in their commercial space travel enterprises.
They’re vaccinated against COVID-19
If you want to take a summer trip to the moon, I think one of their companies may be able to get you there. Not this summer, or next summer. We’re talking about a summer trip to the moon towards the end of this century. You’re gonna need your health and your wealth, but not in that order.
The wealth part comes first and involves a price tag of at least a million of today’s dollars. Factor in inflation. (You’ve heard of inflation, right?) The health part involves being vertical sixty-plus years from now. It also involves being disease-free. Why disease-free? Because the stakes are sky-high. See what I did there?
George Washington ordered mandatory inoculation to protect troops in the Continental Army from smallpox during the Revolutionary War. To suggest a vaccine may have been instrumental in the birth of the United States might be perceived as political, so I won’t.
Getting back to space travel, Astronauts must be immunized, and are closely monitored leading up to a launch. Remember the film, Apollo 13? Gary Sinise can’t go to the moon because he’s had exposure to the measles, has no natural immunity and may come down with it hurtling towards the moon. If you’ve ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you know who replaces him.
The stakes are too high in military conflicts to chance sickness derailing the participants. You can’t call the enemy to put off that day’s agenda. The vacuum of space and physics are equally unforgiving. If you get the flight crew sick because you weren’t vaccinated for COVID-19, Virgin Galactic’s insurance rate is going to soar to the moon, no rocket needed.