We just came across the website IntoSpace.org that is selling flights of payloads into space for just $2 each!
Well, it's a nice idea paying such a small amount to have your logo or photo in space. But don't forget to read the small print...
IntoSpace's offer is to send your 1 square centimeter logo or photo print (they call it an "Astronaut") into space together with thousands of other customers. Is anybody reminded of the Million Dollar Homepage?
But if you do the math, assuming 75gsm paper, IntoSpace is charging $267,000 for each kilogram they send to space. Considering that the going rate for sending payloads to space is currently around $15,000 per kg, they are trying to charge 18 times what it actually costs for them to put a stack of paper on a spacecraft, sure there is some extra mass for the brackets and bolts holding the stack to the spacecraft structure but clearly they are still charging more than 10 times their costs.
Small print indeed!