Want to go to space? It’s a possibility: here in 2019 you can shell out some money and see a spectacular sight that eons of human beings could only dream of. Not you, of course: statistically speaking, I mean other people, those that can afford gigantic sums of money to fulfill spectacular whims and fancies while the rest of us struggle to pay for health insurance. But Warframe developer Digital Extremes knows what you want, and it’s a chance to go to space. That’s why it’s offering a trip up there as part of a “be the first real space ninja” contest it announced at Tennocon:
Entering the contest seems like it will be simple, but it doesn’t seem like you can do so quite yet. You’ll want to keep an eye on the contest page for when it actually goes live.
The catch is that Digital Extremes isn’t exactly putting this thing together for you. The prize isn’t a trip to space so much as it is a check for $250,000, which is a pretty great prize in its own right. According to the contest rules, that’s the equivalent cost of a trip to space as estimated by a sponsor. This stacks as the lowest end of the price range offered by this NBC News article I found after Googling “how much does it cost to go to space.”
That price estimate isn’t exactly the cost of heading up to the International Space Station, which gaming legend Richard Garriott did for $30 million as part of Space Adventures, which he co-founded. It’s a quote for flying Virgin Galactic, which will be a sub-orbital flight designed to make space travel accessible not just to the .001% but the .1% as well. This, truly, is the future we all dreamed of.
You’ll still need to pay taxes on that $250,000, of course, so the flight won’t be totally free. And let’s be real: is going to space the best use for that $250,000 check? I guess the concept is aimed at a narrow sliver of people that would want to spend a $250,000 windfall on a single experience but don’t already have $250,000 to do so with.
But this is video games, and its the fantasy that counts. And as far as fantasy goes this is a fun way of framing–apologies–a traditional contest with a traditional cash prize. If you want to be a space ninja, my recommendation would be to boot up Warframe. It’s free, and it’s pretty great.