When $19 Million is a Bargain for a Toilet

I have always been facinated by outer space. It’s probably because I am of the generation that saw the first man walk on the moon – and the entire humongous space program that was required to get there. My brother is also a “rocket scientist”. He works on software testbeds at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

So when there is a development regarding space and space exploration in the news, I often take a glance. What I read today really put me to thinking.

Apparently, as is being reported by the Associated Press and the Washington Post, NASA has agreed to pay $19 million for a Russian-built toilet system for the international space station. You read that correctly – it’s not a typo. $19,000,000 for a single toilet!

I’m sure we all know that anything that goes up into space has to be built a little differently than earth-bound items of the same type. I has to operate in zero-G. May need to withstand extreme heat or cold. Has to operate upside down. Has to withstand the super-duper G forces of getting it into space. But come on – this is a toilet for gosh sakes!

I am currently preparing for HostingCon. I am wrestling with a pretty cool giveaway / branding piece that I want to bring to the show. I am running into deadlines and budget constraints. So I have to decide if it’s worth spending a certain amount of money to get this cool giveaway made in time for the show. BUT IT AIN’T NO $19 MILLION!!

I became curious as to what the most expensive “earth-bound” toilet costs – to get a comparison. Well according to my research, the most expensive production toilet on this planet is TOTO’s NEOREST toilet. It costs up to $6,000. Oooo…a whole $6,000. You could buy 3,166 of the world’s most expensive toilet for what NASA is getting ready to pay. In fairness to the NEOREST toilet – it is pretty cool. Accordng to the manufacturer, here are a few of it’s features:

“The NEOREST’s lid (not seat) automatically opens whenever an individual approaches it. When the individual leaves, the NEOREST automatically flushes and the lid automatically closes 6 seconds after user leaves sensor zone. With this convenient button-based, remote control luxury feature, one need never worry about forgetting to flush or close the lid.

Exclusive, too, is the NEOREST’s Power Catalytic Air Purifier function, which automatically engages when a user rises from the seat. This technologically-advanced feature effectively eliminates unpleasant odors. The NEOREST’s Automatic Power Deodorize may also be manually engaged at any time with the mere flip of a switch.

The Neorest comes with a wireless remote control and all toilet and Washlet functions can be handled via the remote: motorized seat (up, down, temperature), water temperature, Cyclone flush, massage, oscillate, and change wand position.”

So anyway this makes me wonder what else the government is spending my tax money on that costs, like 3,000 times what a “regular” item costs. What is the government paying for its web servers anyway? Does anybody know?

This content was written by Derek Vaughan, Chief Marketing Officer with TechPad Agency, LLC – a full resource advertising and marketing agency, specializing in products and services for the web hosting industry. Mr. Vaughan’s writing appears courtesy of the hosting  experts at www.thehostingnews.com.