posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 07:33 AM
At a pricetag of $US20 million, a 59 year old New Jersey businessman Greg Olsen, has blasted off in a Russian Soyuz rocket as a passenger on a trip of
a lifetime from Baikonur Space Centre on the Kazakhstan steppes. Mr Olsen will spend 8 days in space alongside Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and
US Astronaut William McArthur and and his journey will include a visit to the International Space Station. Mr Olsen states that the trip is not all
pleasure and he will be carrying out tests on equipment developed by his company, which makes elctronic sensors.
A Soyuz rocket has blasted off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, taking American "space tourist" Greg Olsen and his fellow astronauts, a
Russian and another American, off towards the International Space Station, an AFP reporter witnessed.
The rocket climbed faultlessly away from the Kazakh steppes carrying the Soyuz TMA-7 capsule and its fee-paying and professional crew.
On Friday, 59-year-old businessman Olsen confessed to a few pre-launch nerves ahead of his $US20 million ($26 million) trip, the fulfilment of months
of tough preparation.
"I'll be most relaxed and happy after the rocket takes off," said Mr Olsen, speaking at the Baikonur space centre ahead of his launch.
Despite the hefty price-tag, Mr Olsen can expect few creature comforts aboard the Soyuz, a low-frills workhorse.
Their capsule is due to bump down on the Kazakh steppe on October 11. Predicting the precise spot has in the past proved a hit-or-miss affair.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
20 million is really a piece of cake to pay to be one of the first in space. its a wonder Michael Jackson and bubbles wern't onboard at the bargain
rate. Seriously though it would be a trip of a lifetime.
[edit on 1-10-2005 by Mayet]