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Gregory Olsen Will Be the Next Space Tourist.


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Space Tourist: Image credit: Space Adventures.

Space Adventures announced today that Gregory Olsen will be their next private space tourism client. He's expected to launch for the International Space Station on board a Soyuz rocket some time in 2005, maybe before. Dr. Olsen is the head of Princeton-based Sensors Unlimited and paid an estimated $20 million for the trip. Olsen is hoping to do some science while on board the station, testing his company's equipment and performing some experiments on crystal growth; but his main goal is to use the trip to help build enthusiasm for Space exploration with young people.

Space Adventures®, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced today that American technology entrepreneur Gregory Olsen, Ph.D. will be the next private space explorer client. The company which organized the space flights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito in 2001, and the first African in space, Mark Shuttleworth, in 2002, disclosed Dr. Olsen's identity and his mission objectives during a press conference today in New York City.

The mission continues Space Adventures’ ongoing effort to open the space frontier to more than just career astronauts and cosmonauts. Dr. Olsen is set to begin cosmonaut training next month at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in star City, Russia, with the launch date for the expedition currently planned for April 2005.

Dr. Olsen, CEO of Sensors Unlimited, Inc., Princeton, N.J., commented, "I hope that by travelling to the International Space Station I can help inspire today's youth to dream big and to realize that education hard work and a desire to achieve your vision is the magic of America. If I can do it, so can you!"

"We are excited to announce that Dr. Olsen will be the next private space explorer to visit the International Space Station," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO, Space Adventures. "He has such a passion for this flight and sees it as an investment in the future. Dr. Olsen not only is committed to motivating young people to study science and technology, but also plans to undertake several science and engineering projects during his flight. That he is paying for his mission privately, in addition to carrying out research and educational programs, makes him his own "private space program." We, at Space Adventures, are impressed by the quality and caliber of Dr. Olsen and his plans.„

In conjunction with the Federal Space Agency and the Rocket Space Corporation Energia, Space Adventures continues its commitment to opening the final frontier for private citizens. This innovative project secures the first of four seats made available exclusively to Space Adventures aboard the Soyuz TMA spacecraft travelling to the International Space Station through 2007.

Dr. Olsen, born in 1945 in Brooklyn, N.Y., was raised in a working class family. His father was an electrician and his mother a schoolteacher. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor's of science and master's degree in physics. He then went on to graduate from the University of Virginia with a doctorate in materials science. From 1972 to 1983, he worked at RCA Laboratories, now known as the Sarnoff Corporation. In 1984 Dr. Olsen started his first company, Epitaxx and later sold it for $12 million (USD). He founded Sensors Unlimited, Inc. in 1992, later sold it for $700 million (USD) in 2000. Sensors Unlimited develops highly sensitive near-infrared cameras.

Space Adventures, the only U.S. company to have successfully launched private tourists to the International Space Station, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia with an office in Moscow, Russia. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero Gravity, MiG flights, cosmonaut training, space flight qualification programs and reservations on future sub-orbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; shuttle astronauts Kathy Thomton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Nom Thagard, Sam Durrance and Byron Lichtenber; and Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.

Original Source: Space Adventures News Release




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