American millionaire space tourist wants to fly again
American millionaire space tourist Gregory Olsen, is excited about the future of space travel -- especially if it means he might have another chance to fly.
The third private citizen to fly in space, American millionaire Gregory Olsen, says he's excited about the future of space travel — especially if it means he might have another chance to fly.Skip to next paragraph
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Olsen visited the International Space Station in October 2005 as a paying passenger aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. His ticket, which cost about $20 million at the time, was brokered with the Russian Federal Space Agency through the Virginia-based firm Space Adventures.
A scientist and entrepreneur, Olsen founded the Princeton, New Jersey-based optics firm Sensors Unlimited. The sale of that company in 2000 largely financed his later space trip. Olsen recounts his long road to space in a new memoir, "By Any Means Necessary," published by his new company, GHO Ventures.
"I'd go in a heartbeat," Olsen said of a second space visit. Of particular interest would be an orbital trip around the moon on a Soyuz spacecraft. No space tourist has yet traveled beyond low-Earth orbit, but Space Adventures is working on offering such an excursion.
"I just have to sell another company" to afford the trip, Olsen said. And private space travel to orbit may be getting more expensive.
Pricier space seats
With private seats for orbital trips to the space station in short supply and increased production demands, the price for flights similar to Olsen's voyage are now going for a steeper price.
The seventh space tourist to fly, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, paid a reported $35 million for his 12-day trip to space in October 2009. "It looks like I got a bargain," Olsen told SPACE.com.
For now, orbital spaceflights have been the bulk of space tourism offerings, though a number of private companies are hoping to offer suborbital joy rides in the next few years at a cost of up to $200,000 or so. [10 fantasy spaceships becoming real.]