October 12, 2008

Google Founder Visits Baikonur Cosmodrome

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google Inc., made a surprise visit on Saturday to Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in the barren steppes of central Kazakhstan.

Brin, a native of Moscow, made the visit to wish fellow space tourist, and U.S. computer game developer Richard Garriott luck before Garriott's Sunday flight into space.  The mission will take Garriott, U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke, and cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov to the International Space Station.

Brin recently put down a $5 million deposit with space tourism company Space Adventures to book a flight into space. 

Space Adventures said the Google billionaire could go to the ISS as part of its private Soyuz flight program as early as 2011.

Dressed in jeans and a black sweater, Brin looked relaxed as he toured the Baikonur cosmodrome, the world's oldest space launch facility.

Garriott, who paid $35 million for his trip into space, joked as he talked with Brin during a private meeting behind a glass quarantine panel.

"I feel great. Thank you," Garriott said.

Brin jokingly asked if Garriott would have Internet access on the ISS.  He then gave Garriott a camera memory card as a good-luck gift.

Image Courtesy James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media, Inc. - Wikipedia