Space and Politics

My cruel friends like to tease me. They tell me that by the time I become an astronaut they will be able to buy the ticket for the seat next to me. Bastards. They might be right. Space tourism, though still in its infancy, is full of possibilities. Now and Indian-American entrepreneur from Chicago is trying to get in on the action. From the Hindustan Times:


Chirinjeev Kathuria, the irrepressible Indian-American serial entrepreneur from Chicago, is returning to his first love – commercial space travel.

Kathuria, who some years ago, co-founded MirCorps, a Russian partnered company that sent American businessman Dennis Tito to space April 4, 2000, is partnering with Canadian Arrow to form a new Canadian corporation called PlanetSpace.

“We are interested in making this a profitable business. I am more interested in getting applause form Wall Street rather than from jet propulsion labs,” said Kathuria who could not become an astronaut as a teenager because he wore glasses.

“The fact is I’ve always wanted to make commercial space travel a reality for the everyday person, and to create a business to make a company profitable.

Apparently I’m not the only one who dreams of space AND politics though. Kathuria is quite ambitious. Googling him led me here. On April 15th Kathuria announced his bid for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (in 2006).

I am here today to invite you to understand who I am, what I stand for and why I feel I am a good candidate.

Why should a conservative vote for me? Because I believe in, and have benefited from the Conservative agenda. Free markets helped me create my businesses, tax relief put money in my pocket, Homeland Security kept me safe from terrorist attacks, and I strongly believe in the family values that have been instrumental in my personal and professional life.

What is America? America is a country that would allow a man as distinguished looking as myself to rise and become a leader because of my dedication and education.

It is natural that my appearance has invoked curiosity. DonÂ’t let this turban and beard fool you. I am an American first and foremost. I was brought from India when I was eight months old, and I was raised in this tolerant and accepting country. I was raised to believe in the American Dream, and with hard work and diligence I managed to live the American Dream. My parents came to this country with a few dollars. Their son graduated from Downers Grove North High School 20 years ago and had the privilege of earning undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown, and an MBA from Stanford and now owns several business ventures ranging from medical to technological to space exploration that have generated a considerable amount of shareholder wealth and jobs. However, any success that I have achieved I owe to the opportunities and freedoms that America has given me. Now itÂ’s my turn to give back to this nation that has endowed me with enormous personal growth. Because of my background, the issue of technology will be a major plank in my campaign platform.

I’m telling you guys. Illinois LOVES politicians with foreign names. This guy may have a shot. Our Republican friend’s issue page can be found here. He IS conservative alright.

Will the taste of politics corrupt the innocent lure of space, or can they mutually co-exist? I am waiting eagerly to find out as Kathuria explores new frontiers.

14 thoughts on “Space and Politics

  1. I don’t think he has a shot, abhi. He has a reputation for lying on his resume. You might wanna double check those Mir claims.

    The Trib ran a story about Dr. Kathuria when he was running for the US Senate from Illinois.

    He promptly sued the Trib for libel.

  2. If his mother is a pathologist, which I think she is but I’m not sure, I trained with her during residency….I know nothing about this Dr. Kathuria, however, politics or otherwise.

    PS: She, at least, is a very nice person.

    Yes, yes, I know it’s annoying that I keep popping up in comments sections saying I met this person or I met that person, but then, look who’s commenting. Sometimes I *am annoying. I think you all know that by now.

  3. Fer Crying Out LOUD!

    He doesn’t even have his “Planet Space” webpage up! What’s he doing giving interviews without at least getting some material up first? That’s like showing up to a press conference but leaving your trousers at home!

    And did you see the corporate logo that they’re using? C’mon guys – if you want us to take you seriously, produce something a bit more polished than the 21st century equivalent of a mimeographed handout, with smudged blue ink.

    I’m sure wall street will be verrrrry impressed.

  4. Kathuria is the sardar version of Donald Trump — very over the top, lots of hustle, but … something’s missing.

    The biggest embarrassment during his Senate run was when it was revealed in a debate that he hadn’t ever bothered to register to vote! Ouch.

    And there was some confusion about whether he had ever dated Salma Hayek, which apparently he had hinted at.

    Then again, just as with Trump, you can never count these guys out for sure. There’s always some new hustle. (Of as they say in Hindi: “Dhanda”)

  5. And there was some confusion about whether he had ever dated Salma Hayek, which apparently he had hinted at.

    Wtf?? Are you being serious? He claimed to have dated her when he didnt? What a weirdo. Or did he date her?

  6. All I remember about this guy is him giving a speech at Jakara (a Sikh youth conference in CA) as if he was the biggest pimp in the room. If he was hotter, I would have believed him. But then again .. some women think $$$ = hotness.

  7. But then again .. some women think $$$ = hotness

    What the hell?? Are you being serious?? Money?? I thought women were most attracted by a sense of humour and blah blah blah…

    This is $hocking.

  8. I haven’t found any direct record of Kathuria’s claim about Salma Hayek, but you can see a Rediff summary of the litany against him here.

    Apparently he also claimed to have dated a Miss India, and a Miss Stockholm.

    I think he wishes he were Vikram Chatwal. Sadly, it is not to be.

  9. To clarify – Mir Corp signed a contract with Dennis Tito but never was able to produce his spaceflight – this is common knowledge to people in the space community. When the MiR space station was de-orbited Tito signed on with Space Adventures and they brokered his flight to the International Space Station.

    In short, Kathuria is claiming to have organized Tito’s flight to space when all that really happened was an agreement that him and Mir Corp could not fulfill. I would hesitate to put that on my resume…

    If you don’t believe this – check out the MiR Corp and Space Adventures websites and see which one actually has testimonials from Tito etc…