Thursday, April 13, 2006

Space ride more realistic than planned reports that a second person has died after riding Disney's "Mission: Space" amusement park ride. To paraphrase the old saying, to lose one customer is a misfortune; to lose two starts to look like carelessness.

Still, Disney does assert that "This ultimate interactive thrill-packed adventure is as close as you can get to blasting off into space without leaving Earth." With some of the inherent dangers, too, it seems.

I don't know how many people have been on this ride so far, probably tens of thousands. If we assume 100,000, then that's a death rate of only 0.02%. Compare that with actual space flight. According to Wikipedia, 457 people have been in space. Of those, 21 have died on the job. That's a rate of 4.5% -- WAAAAY higher than the death rate even among Alaska fishermen (which is popularly thought to be one of the most dangerous civilian jobs around), at 0.1%.


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