Out of this world vacation

Gregory Olson, 60, chairman of the Board of Directors and co-founder of Sensors Unlimited Inc., a developer and manufacturer of optoelectronic devices for fiber optic communications systems, photonic and near infrared imaging devices, is about to become the third civilian to visit the International Space Station. It's a trip of a lifetime he's spending $20 million to make a reality. Space Adventures Limited, working with the Russian space agency brokers the trip.

Soyuz: Soyuz docking with the International Space Station. Photo: NASA TV

Olson, along with Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and NASA astronaut William McArthur, still have a few weeks of training left before their scheduled October 1 launch in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will spend two days in space before docking with the International Space Station where they will spend a week. Olson will then return with the current crew of the Space Station on October 11.

Olson, who has been training for the mission periodically since 2004, is fortunate in that a recent modification to the Soyuz spacecraft will now allow passengers Olson's height - 6-foot-1. Olson's training has focused on physical conditioning, studying Russian, and learning how to work communications systems and other equipment. The crew will spend the last week before the flight in isolation to avoid catching an illness.

The Russian Space Agency is strapped for cash, and taking along guests is a way they hope to offset the costs of going to space.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

wow that's really interesting

posted on Sun, 09/04/2005 - 1:23pm

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