J.K. Rowling Was Given the Chance to Travel Into Space… and She Turned It Down
I can’t decide whether this makes her more or less amazing. Given the opportunity to travel into space, J.K. Rowling turned it down.
The author related the invitation—and her snub thereof—to a group of fans at an event in London following the release of her most recent book, The Casual Vacancy.
“I was offered a seat. For a mere £2 million I could have been on the shuttle, but I turned it down.”
As Website Citizens in Space notes, it’s unclear who it was that extended the invitation, as NASA doesn’t exactly let civilians tag along on its flights. The Independent, which first reported the quote, mentioned Richard Branson‘s commercial spaceline Virgin Galactic in the story, but it wasn’t specified whether the offer came from them. (For one thing, Virgin Galactic charges $200,000, not £2 million, for their two-hour flights… though, honestly, Rowling is so rich I would hardly be surprised if she misremembered a decimal place or two.)
What do you think of Rowling’s decision? If you were offered a chance to go into space for £2 million, approximately $3.22 million, would you do it? If I were as rich as Rowling, I’d have to say I would—and I’d hazard a guess that most of our readers would feel the same. Still, I sort of see where she’s coming from in refusing. I assume there’s some sort of intensive training routine one most go though before jet-setting off into space—I’m not sure how much of one is involved with space tourism flights, but if you do, drop me a comment—and after writing The Casual Vacancy and and finishing up the endless press tour, I might want to do nothing but sleep, read, watch movies, and spend time with my family for a year or two.
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