Thu, Jul 07, 2005
Gregory Olsen Is Russia's Next Customer
An American camera-maker is slated to become the next space
tourist aboard the International Space Station, as Russia resumes
its controversial program of allowing novices to cavort aboard the
International Space Station in exchange for millions of
This time, it's 59-year old Gregory Olsen, head of Sensors,
Unlimited, a company that makes infra-red cameras, according to the
Russian Daily newspaper Gazeta. He follows American Dennis Tito and
South African Mark Shuttleworth, becoming the third person to pay
more than $20 million for the privilege of flying into space.
"A contract between Roskosmos and Space Adventures, which sent
Tito and Shuttleworth into space, was signed a few days ago,"
Roskosmos press secretary Vyacheslav Davidenko told the Russian
newspaper. The flight is scheduled for October.
At first, Olsen's plans hit a potential snag. During early
centrifuge training, Olsen apparently showed signs of health
problems. He's now following a Russian doctor's plan to get in
shape for the flight. He was declared fit for the mission on May
30th. If NASA approves, Olsen will join cosmonaut Valery Tokarev
and astronaut William MacArthur aboard October launch of a Soyuz
TMA-7 vehicle bringing the replacement crew to the ISS.
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