Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, recently announced that two supremely moneyed people have paid him an undisclosed amount to take them around the Moon. Musk followed by suggesting this won’t be the last mission, either.
When I heard the story, my first thought was: who in their right mind would pay an exorbitant amount of money to have this company take them to the Moon? The list of people who could afford it is pretty short, to start with. The list of people crazy enough trims it further.
So, naturally, my second thought was: Mark Cuban.
That’s 100-percent speculation on my part. But Cuban is the kind of risk-taking entrepreneur I could see putting his life in the hands of SpaceX, despite its, let’s say, spotty record of not blowing things up.
Obviously, if Cuban is taking his talents to space, it’s only a matter of time before we see Dirk Nowitzki launching treys on the Moon. The lower gravity will be easier on his aging joints.
I’m only mostly joking. The reality is that Moon colonization is getting closer every year. And once there are permanent inhabitants on the Moon, they’ll need some entertainment. Just ask Sam Rockwell.
Which sports and athletes will be the first to take to space? That’s one of the pressing questions I’m answering today.
If you’re more interested in how to acquire the necessary funds to be the next SpaceX moon-man, I’ve also got some rock-solid longshot bets that will put you in Cuban’s tax bracket if they hit.
But first, let’s look at some general odds for Musk’s mission to the Moon!
O/U cost of SpaceX Moon flight: $80 million
Although this trip around the Moon covers many more miles, Musk has stated it will cost about as much as a trip to the International Space Station. The last trip to the ISS reportedly cost $35 million. So, with two passengers, double it and add a little bit for the extra fuel.
Odds this SpaceX flight actually happens: 3/7
What’s stopping them? Oh right, that whole training to be an astronaut thing, and the danger involved.
Odds there will be multiple SpaceX Moon flights by 2019: 5/2
If the first one goes well, Musk will have crazed millionaires lining up to be next. But the timeline has the first trip happening in late 2018, so there will need to be more turnover to train the next batch. Side note: how many crazed millionaires are out there?
Odds the entire first SpaceX Moon flight will be broadcast live …
… on TV: 7/1
… on social media: 19/1
The launch and attempted landing will certainly be broadcast live, but Musk will want control over everything that is being captured during the trip.
Odds the first SpaceX Moon flight will have its own reality show: 4/5
After blowing upwards of $80 million, these two might want the extra income. (Or maybe not, since they had $80 million to throw away.) With reality shows being made about obese children and pissed off brides-to-be, this show doesn’t sound too bad.
Odds celebrities will be on the first SpaceX Moon flight
Lady Gaga: 45/1
Leonardo DiCaprio: 50/1
Tom Hanks: 75/1
Stephen Hawking: 99/1
Matt Damon: 99/1
Richard Branson: 150/1
Sandra Bullock: 150/1
The two unnamed passengers probably aren’t members of the Hollywood A-list, but they could be! Lady Gaga is apparently set to perform in space; perhaps she’ll find her way aboard. What outfit would she wear, though? Matt Damon has been in a lot of space movies, so he must have a desire for the real thing, right? A number of these celebs have voiced their desire, and currently hold tickets for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight.
Odds President Trump is a passenger on a SpaceX Moon flight …
… during his Presidency: 99/1
… after his Presidency: 4/1
Training to be an astronaut would likely get in the way of Trump making America great again. (Sorry, I can’t say that with a straight-face.) One thing is certain: it would be the greatest trip. People would be talking about how great it was. People would tell Trump how great his trip was. It would be the best trip ever made.
Odds Trump runs for president of the Moon or space: 2/9
Here’s the thing: Trump likes to be in control. So if this was a possibility, I’d say he’d go for it. He’s somehow already accomplished becoming one of the most powerful men in the world, so why not try to conquer space?
Every move Trump makes is calculated with the thought of “how will this make me money”. Ruling space would definitely fatten his bank account, as he could impose any laws he wants, including building Trump properties, and charging any country or company that wants to shoot into orbit.
Odds Trump imposes a space travel ban: 1/11
If Trump became president of outer space, it seems pretty obvious he’d impose a travel ban. The U.S. has a rich history when it comes to discoveries and firsts in space, and a ban would allow America to accomplish more of that.
Odds on which league will be the first to have a tournament/game on the Moon
National Football League: 2/1
Major League Baseball: 4/1
Premier League: 7/1
National Basketball Association: 7/1
National Hockey League: 22/3
It would take a lot of work to create Earth-like conditions. If anyone has the money to do it, it’s the NFL. Besides, there wouldn’t be much of a difference in attendance if the Chargers were the home team. I just want to know if the balls would remain inflated under those conditions.
Science has proven that chicks dig the longball. But what would even constitute a moonshot on the Moon? (Answer to come.) I imagine basketball on the Moon resembling Slam Ball, minus the contact, of course. The NBA is too soft for that.
The only sport that would actually benefit in any way from this is hockey. As long as they’re playing on the dark side of the Moon, ice conditions would be pretty good. The flood between periods wouldn’t take long, either; that Zamboni would be flying!
Odds Kyrie Irving continues to claim the Earth is flat after the SpaceX trip: 1/9
If there isn’t already enough evidence out there for Irving, there never will be.
Odds any athlete negotiates a space voyage into their next contract: 99/1
Though we don’t know the exact cost of the SpaceX trip, we can make some reasonable assumptions. Considering that, a team may agree to it if the player’s salary is just swapped for the space voyage. But I don’t foresee any athlete turning down those weekly earnings.
Odds to be the first (current/retired) pro athlete to go into space
Michael Jordan: 7/1
Robbie Knievel: 7/1
Tom Brady: 15/2
Rob Gronkowski: 9/1
Floyd Mayweather: 10/1
Rob Dyrdek: 10/1
Dennis Rodman: 12/1
Kyrie Irving: 12/1
Michael Jordan has enough money to do whatever he wants. Plus, he already saved the Earth from aliens, so he may want to take a look at where they came from, or go on the offensive!
Tom Brady has conquered everything this planet has to offer, so maybe he could find some competition elsewhere. Speaking of Patriots, Rob Gronkowski could have one hell of a party on the Moon. As for Mayweather, this is a much too reasonable way to use his money.
Dyrdek and Rodman are here because they sit atop the list of weirdest/craziest athletes of all-time. Earlier props speak for Kyrie’s appearance here.
Do you think Knievel could jump the Moon?
Odds on the first franchise owner to go into space
Mark Cuban: 5/1
Steve Ballmer: 6/1
Phil Knight: 13/2
Mikhail Prokhorov: 7/1
Jerry Jones: 9/1
James Dolan: 10/1
Mark Cuban has the more extreme personality. Ballmer has the more extreme net-worth (an estimated $23.5 billion). The owner of the Clippers may own space in the near-future. Ok, I kind of cheated with Phil Knight. He doesn’t own a sports team; he is the co-founder of Nike. But Nike has their hands on just about everything to do with sports, so it counts. Anyways, now that Knight has stepped down as the company’s chairman, he should have some extra time on his hands. Just do it, man.
Sending Prokhorov to space seems like a good move for the Brooklyn Nets franchise. The further away he is, the better. Space also seems like a decent place for James Dolan to hide from Charles Oakley.
O/U average drive distance for PGA golfers on the Moon: 2.5 miles
In order to accurately calculate this, you need to have a firm understanding of vector kinematics. Instead of navigating you through a math problem that (likely) none of us have seen since grade 12, let’s just skip ahead and I’ll point you to a much more educated explanation here.
The average PGA pro can drive the ball 290 yards off the tee. With gravity dropping from approximately 9.81 m/s^2 on Earth to about 1.62 m/s^2 on the Moon, the result is a ball that flies real far.
O/U average home run distance of an MLB slugger on the Moon: 1.1 miles
In 2016, the average home run distance was just shy of 400 feet. But good luck seeing that fastball.
Longshot bets that could get YOU to the Moon
With the knowledge that it has previously cost about $35 million for a trip to the International Space Station, I have estimated this insane week-long trip around the Moon around $40 million each. (Let it be known, pricing out space travel is not my forte.)
Since I don’t have that kind of coin laying around, and suspect you don’t either (no offense), we need a get-rich-quick scheme. (For two, of course, who wants to go alone?) Oh hey, how about gambling on sports? (Funny how that ends up being my solution to most things.)
Here are some bets that should net you about $80 million, giving you the coin for a trip for two around the Moon!
Bet $100 on Donald Trump picking a perfect March Madness bracket
Bet $250 on the New England Patriots relocating to Russia in the next ten years
Bet $500 that DeMarcus Cousins never picks up another technical foul
Bet $500 on the Brooklyn Nets to make the playoffs this year
Bet $500 on Steph Curry never hitting a three-point shot again
Bet $750 on Roger Goodell never fining an NFL player again
Bet $1,000 on James Dolan in Dolan vs. Oakley
Bet $5,000 on Aaron Rodgers never winning another NFL game
Bet $10,000 on South Korea to win gold in Ice Hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics
Bet $100,000 on a player breaking Wayne Gretzky’s career point total in the next ten years
Bet $500,000 on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the 2017-18 Stanley Cup
Bet $800,000 on the Browns to win Super Bowl LII
Bet $20 million on Conor McGregor to beat Floyd Mayweather
Yeah … I don’t want to go to space that bad, either.