Last week we told you about rumors (albeit, largely discredited) that the

Last week we told you about rumors (albeit, largely discredited) that the reason Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was selling off billions of dollars in company stock was so he could buy the Sacramento Kings and deliver an NBA team back to the Emerald City. Then, yesterday we wrote about how Washington State University Professor Dirk Schulze-Makuch proposed sending astronauts on one-way missions to Mars. Schulze-Makuch wrote that getting funding for such missions would take an “eccentric billionaire” to get it done. Now where could he find one of those?Ballmer has now sold $1.3 billion in Microsoft stock, not counting the $84 million reported on Monday. He says he’ll sell another $700 million by year’s end, putting him at more than $2 billion in new liquid out of his reported $11 billion in total net worth.NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden recently said that a one-way trip to Mars would cost around $10 billion. And who was he telling this to? None other than Google co-founder Larry Page (net worth $14 billion), who reportedly tried to bargain the price down to $1 or $2 billion.Do we count two eccentric billionaires now?Plus, Microsoft last year partnered with NASA to start a crowdsourcing website that let people do online “scientific research” on Mars by counting craters and matching photos with maps.So if both high rollers are keen on the red planet, who’s to say they won’t partner up for humanity and send some astronaut ass to Mars?Probably both of them, but we’ll wait to hear back.

More in News & Comment

Victims, law enforcement speak about King County Courthouse conditions

An entrance to the courthouse was closed after an assault.

In this September 2019 photo, George Kirkish, owner and founder of Palouse Winery on Vashon-Maury Island, pours a glass of wine for Lori Coots during tasting room hours. (Kevin Opsahl/Sound Publishing)
King County Council approves controversial winery, brewery ordinance

After five years, the county has updated regulations surrounding alcohol production and tasting.

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is among supporters of statewide “just cause” legislation to protect tenants in Washington. However, some landlords say removing the ability to quickly remove tenants limits their ability to get rid of problem renters. (Courtesy image)
Tenant advocates prepare for another push in Olympia

Following wins in Burien and Federal Way, just cause evictions are on the 2020 Legislative agenda.

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

You’ve been hacked! Data breaches in Washington on the rise

But fewer people had personal information compromised from cyberattacks in 2019 compared to 2018.

Demonstrators from La Resistencia protest Amazon’s involvement with ICE. Photo courtesy of La Resistencia
How will the U.S. respond to climate refugees?

Business as usual has been harder borders, are there other ways to address climate migration?

Safe drug consumption sites have been recommended by the King County Heroin and Opioid Task Force. Pictured is a safe consumption site in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Photo supplied by ARCHES in Lethbridge
What’s been happening with safe injection sites?

There hasn’t been much coverage this year compared to the last couple years.

Most Read