July 28, 2005

Wealthy Scientist Joins Russia Soyuz Crew

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -- A millionaire scientist has been confirmed as a member of a Russian Soyuz crew scheduled to blast off Oct. 1 and deliver supplies to the international space station.

Space Adventures, the company that arranged the $20 million deal with Russia's space agency, announced Wednesday that Gregory Olsen was officially part of the crew, which also includes a U.S. astronaut.

Olsen, a 60-year-old scientist and co-founder of infrared camera maker Sensors Unlimited Inc., of Princeton, would become the third paying passenger to visit the space station.

His trip, originally scheduled for April, was put on hold last summer after doctors in Russia found an undisclosed health problem during a physical exam.

That ailment was never revealed, but in May the Russian space program gave Olsen medical clearance and he resumed training. In its announcement Wednesday, Space Adventures said the health problem has been remedied.

Olsen, who holds advanced degrees in physics and materials science, has said he plans to bring along several of his company's cameras to do science experiments.

Space Adventures, of Arlington, Va., has arranged trips for the only two other people who have traveled to the orbiting station as tourists - American Dennis Tito and South African Mark Shuttleworth.


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