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Third 'Space Tourist' Blasts Off Into Space

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the pricetags-that-make-you-wince dept.

Space 83

auckland map writes "A Russian Soyuz rocket has lifted off from the Central Asian steppes, launching U.S. millionaire scientist Gregory Olsen and a new Russian-U.S. crew on a two-day journey to the international space station. Olsen is reportedly paying $20 million for this trip." From the article: "The cash-strapped Russian Federal Space Agency has turned to space tourism to generate money. Olsen is the third non-astronaut to visit the orbiting station. California businessman Dennis Tito paid about $20 million for a week long trip to the space station in 2001, and South African Mark Shuttleworth followed a year later."

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83 comments

Beats selling weapons terrorists (0, Troll)

JohnnyNoSPAM (815401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694739)

Russia could probably get something going if they work it correctly. I am sure that this kind of business could be more profitable than selling nuclear technology and Soviet-era weapons to other countires. It's honest business, and can generate a huge amount of $$$.

Space Travel for the MASSES! (-1, Offtopic)

Egorn (82375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694746)

Huzzah! Next thing will be colonization! See Honey! Buying real estate on the moon [moonshop.com] was a good idea and totally not a waste of money!

Re:Space Travel for the MASSES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694800)

That's no moon...

For a mere $10 million... (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694752)

...I am willing to offer a one year tour around a nearby star, getting at a distance of about 1 AU. To maintain the comforts of gravity and atmosphere, I have identified a suitable location on a nearby planet. The external atmosphere contains mild contaminants, however, should be quite breathable. A mass particle transport utility shall be provided upon receipt of first half of my requested sum.

Re:For a mere $10 million... (4, Funny)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694872)

...I am willing to offer a one year tour around a nearby star

Time-travel (1 year forward, at a comfortable rate) included at no extra charge...

If the moon landings were faked (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694758)

Does that mean these guys are being drugged, shown a couple of movies for a week, and released having been fleeced of their millions? If that's true, I'm sure these Russian space guys will get hired by Hollywood...

If they could just get us to believe that file sharing is wrong?

Re:If the moon landings were faked (3, Funny)

JohnnyNoSPAM (815401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694787)

"If the moon landings were faked" Do not try and land on the moon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth: There is no moon. :-P

Mono must blast off (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694762)

Kill the damn thing. If nobody uses it MS and the horrible C# language will die.

MS sais there is no innovation in open source and that you are all slackers. Just compare the innovation or perl/python vs. the innovation of C#!

Boycott Mono and Migule.

Re:Mono must blast off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13705574)

Jealousy has gotten the best of you because you weren't the one who started Microsoft, huh?

$20 Million? (3, Funny)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694775)

Olsen is reportedly paying $20 million for this trip.

Big deal. It costs me about that much to commute too these days.

Re:$20 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694802)

What we want to know is the conversion for rupees per gallon?

Re:$20 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694857)

What we want to know is the conversion for rupees per gallon?

Funny, I thought they used Rubles in Russia. Rupees are used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and a few other places.

Google says that the exchange rate is about 1 U.S. dollar = 28.5106601 Russian ruble, so 85-86 rubles per gallon at current US rates.

One would pay about 132 India rupees for the same gallon.

Re:$20 Million? (2, Insightful)

heavy snowfall (847023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694824)

...businessman Dennis Titor [strategicbrains.com] paid about $20 million for a week long trip to the..

--
The ten best Palm apps [arpx.net]

Re:$20 Million? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697695)

Insightful?
Funny, idiots.
Why do you two get mod points, and I don't anymore...

Re:$20 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13698000)

I thought it was funny that I got insightful.

Re:$20 Million? (1)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695193)

What do you drive, a Hummer? I feel for you, bro. Six miles on the gallon? Like hell. More like six miles on the tank, with a down payment.

Friend: Hey man, you wanna come see my new bigscreen?
Me: Fuck you man, I ain't biking that far.

Smart guy (5, Interesting)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694781)

According to Dr. Gregory Olsen's bio [sensorsinc.com], his company has been developing optoelectronic devices and that "This cutting edge camera technology is revolutionizing detection capabilities and providing reliable, high performance products used for a variety of critical military, national security, telecommunications and industrial applications such as covert surveillance, machine vision, night vision, health and safety protocols, historical art inspection and many others."

Perhaps we shouldn't have let this guy get too acquainted with the Russians...

Re:Smart guy (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694813)

The Russians are OK, If he was flying with the Chinese THEN we worry. I suspect there would be a "horrible accident" and Dr. Olsen would be killed (i.e. disappear until they could get all the technology secrets from him).

Re:Smart guy (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694897)

I think the Russians will sell [atimes.com] the Chinese whatever they want:
Where does China turn when it shops for military weapons? In a word, Russia. According to the Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), China constitutes the largest single importer of post-Soviet Russian arms and military equipment, with purchases ranging between 30% and 50% of Russia's entire annual deliveries.

Without those arms exports to China, Russia would lack the funds to modernize its own military. In fact, in the past Russia has prohibited the export of certain of its military aircraft, or production licenses, to China only to revoke the ban later on.

Re:Smart guy (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694995)

I don't doubt the Russians would sell their Grandmother to who ever had the money. But the Chinese could cut out the middle man and get it for nothing if they had Dr Olsen. Of course getting it for nothing is just good business for the "Chinese Capitalists";) They also then might have something better than what the Russkies offer which of course they would sell/trade back.

Gregory Olsen is *GAY* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694966)

It seems that this "doctor" Greogry Olsen only wants to fly in Russian spacecraft because he heard that Russian cosmonauts are really hung. The minimum penis dimension to be accepted in the Russian space program are l=30cm, d=8cm.

hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694796)

are they gonna send that space monkey lance bass back into orbit?

btw, 9/11 happened on 9/12

Re:hey (-1, Offtopic)

VoidWraith (797276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694840)

Perhaps in some part of the world, but if you're talking about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, it most definitely was September 11 in this timezone. Way too much film was released that day. My younger brother saw the second one live.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694798)

...millionaire scientist...

Sir, that sentence doesn't have any sense to me, I'll try again...

head explodes

"Don't call him a space tourist" (4, Informative)

brian.glanz (849625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694810)

"Don't call him a space tourist" [msn.com] as Alan Boyle says.

Let's say scientist, engineer, inventor, or maybe inspiration [sensorsinc.com] (his bio at his company's site).

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694888)

He's a guy who paid $20 million to get into space. That's a tourist.

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (4, Informative)

brian.glanz (849625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694962)

"Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act. A tourist is someone who travels at least fifty miles from home, as defined by the World Tourism Organization (a United Nations body)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourist [wikipedia.org]

50 miles: check.

recreation: not so much, no.

Olsen paid for access to a laboratory in which he will study things he could not anywhere else, such as crystal growth and infrared imaging sensor performance. Even during the two-day Soyuz journey to the ISS, Olsen is operating some oxygen systems and filling other small but necessary roles. He's spent the last several months training more as a member of the crew, even learning Russian (mandatory). He is not just along for the ride.

Sounds like a great holiday to me, but as a matter of respect and perhaps even by definition, I would not call him a tourist.

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13695364)

Sorry you are wrong.

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696161)

Bullshit. He's contriving some experiments - some of which are irrelevant to his work, some that can be done on earth, and some of which have well known results. He's there because he wants to be there, period, not because he needs to be. That's pleasure, not business. A tourist.

He's not a tourist (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13698616)

"He's contriving some experiments"

Nonono. _He_ is the _experiment_.

He's the third in a series of experiments. The first was the pioneering experiment involving Dennis Tito as test subject.

These space experiments are probably more noteworthy and useful than any of those conducted by the NASA in recent years.

NASA did the Mars probe thing decades ago. Now they're trying to do the moon thing again. When did NASA become a branch of Hollywood? ;).

BTW, the test subject becomes a tourist if the newspapers/media don't talk about it. In which event the experiment is considered a success.

The way people cheer and clap whenever the space shuttle takes off sure doesn't give me much confidence in it.

Re:He's not a tourist (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13699127)

Then you've simply created a tautology, he's no less a tourist than my cat would be if I gave them $20M to take her in space. The difference between him and NASA is he didn't earn his spot there, he *bought* it. He's an unqualified person who bought a ticket somewhere. Tour-ist.

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (1)

AAeyers (857625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696266)

recreation: not so much, no.

You don't call floating around in zero gravity recreation? Sounds like a good time to me...

Re:"Don't call him a space tourist" (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697088)

It is a business venture if it can be reasonably expected to turn a profit. If he could pay NASA or Russia to do the experiments for less, then this is not the wisest business venture. If he really expects to make in excess of $20 million off these experiments (and he'd prolly have to fight for the patent, since he did it in an international lab), it's business, otherwise it's at least partially pleasure.

Oh, and all those guys who go to Hawaii or Las Vegas for business conferences and spend half the time in casinos or clubs or on the beach? Yeah, it may be for business, and may even be worthwhile from an economic point of view, but they're still tourists.

You missed the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13705769)

I don't care if you consider him a tourist or a crewmember. What's the point of arguing over semantics?

If anyone RTFuckingA, you missed the most important part.

Here it is, again:

    "Olsen is the third non-astronaut"

Did you catch it this time?

"Non-astronaut"?

No, that's not what I'm referring to.

"Third"?

Bingo!!

Do you know what that means?

That other people have already done it, and he was the THIRD.

Whoop-D-Fucking-Do.

All of you should already know that when the FOURTH person does it, then will be worthy of discussion on this forum.

Until then, grow the fuck up!! Is it any wonder that nerds are so tortured in school?

You would have thought....... (4, Interesting)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694825)

You would think that any manned spaced launch (and many unmanned ones) would be important News for Nerds wouldn't you?

Still, this story hits the front page about 17 hours after the launch.

I did know it was going but perhaps some would have watched on TV if they knew the launch was taking place ie: Slashdot could run a story *beforehand*.

For those of you who missed the live video, the footage was excellent, gorgeous steady tracking footage was provided by a telescope mounted camera followed by live in-capsule footage right through all the stage burnouts (never seen *live* interior shots on a shuttle launch) and then about 15 mins of on-orbit initial operations footage. I thoroughly recommend watching the live feed for the Exp 13 launch.

Plus the crew had a cool little troll (the little plastic ones) on a bungee to show the capsules movements on orbit.

Re:You would have thought....... (2, Interesting)

Torinir (870836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694870)

"Plus the crew had a cool little troll (the little plastic ones) on a bungee to show the capsules movements on orbit."

Too bad some of the /. trolls couldn't have been taken up into orbit too... and jettisoned.

Hmmm... that's actually an idea...

Someone loan me $20m. :D

Re:You would have thought....... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695068)

I learned long ago to deal with the news lag from slashdot. You shouldn't read slashdot, if timeliness is the most important reason for reading news (well, the comments from posters can actually be very timely even for an old story). 17 hours actually isn't bad.

Re:You would have thought....... (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695269)

It doesn't really make much sense to attempt to "predict" launches. Very seldom do they happen at the time they're originally planned. If it's not a delay caused by equipment malfunction in any one of the thousands of complex components of the vehicle, or ground support, it's weather.

More than once, I've driven out to Vandenberg in the middle of the night to watch a launch, and ended up having to go home disappointed. Spacelaunch is not a spectator sport! (though, when you get lucky, they're great to watch).
About two years ago, I drove down for the ICESAT/CHIPSAT launch. It was delayed for about an hour, so I waited, and a marine layer rolled in off the sea. When the launch happened, I saw about the first 10 seconds of the flight before it disappeared. I got home, and my wife, who was watching from the front yard saw the whole thing clear as day.

I'm staying home for Monday's Delta IV launch.

Seems a bit different in Kazakhstan (2, Informative)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695897)

The last three manned launches from Baikonur I watched live (Exp 10, 11, 12)

They went on time as advertised (Exp 12 actually launched in 'moderate' weather).

Now I fully understand the reason, the Shuttle has to be 'just right' to launch because there are very few abort options whereas the Soyuz can be (and has been) aborted in most if not all stages of flight.

Certainly, if it was a Shuttle Launch, you could say that any pre-advertised launch could be raising false hopes but a Soyuz cancellation is 'unusual' these days.

Re:Seems a bit different in Kazakhstan (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696158)

If only you had been able to watch the Buran launch! Although the weather looked pretty miserable.

Re:You would have thought....... (2, Insightful)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695538)

You would think that any manned spaced launch (and many unmanned ones) would be important News for Nerds wouldn't you?

As an avid space enthusiast, I personally look forward to the day that a manned space launch is just as unremarkable and routine as a manned air launch.

Re:You would have thought....... (1)

lw54 (73409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697422)

Still, this story hits the front page about 17 hours after the launch.

Just wait a few months and you can comment how old this will be on the second, third, fourth and fifth time the story hits our frontpage.

In the 6 years I've been here, I'm pretty sure this is the first time a story was actually posted within 24-hours of the event.

On TV (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694832)

I'm reading this while Airplane II is playing behind me.

cliches that never grow old (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694849)

Google reports 1040 hits [google.com] of "cash-strapped" near "Russian space agency". I don't intend to add great insight here, but in today's sophisticated capitalist societies, there must be other synonyms much as the Eskimos supposedly had 40 words for snow.

Re:cliches that never grow old (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694901)

I subscribe to the reverse Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I'm convinced that the Eskimos migrated to the arctic because they had forty words for "snow."

-jcr

Re:cliches that never grow old (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694906)

Good point. NASA wouldn't be letting Hubble whither if it was not also "cash-strapped". The Russians are being good entreprenurers, not "cash-strapped". They are better capitalists than we are. Perhaps the author is jealous.
         

Re:cliches that never grow old (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694963)

Not to mention the Russians latest export venture, selling Soyuz space capsules to a country unable to fund the research and development of its own space craft...The United States (link [space.com]).

Re:cliches that never grow old (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695041)

Perhaps the author is jealous.

More likely, the cited journalist is lazy. It's a mystery to me how these cliches linger. It can't require that much brain power to shuffle some phrases around.

Re:cliches that never grow old (1)

bbc (126005) | more than 8 years ago | (#13698842)

"Google reports 1040 hits [google.com] of "cash-strapped" near "Russian space agency". I don't intend to add great insight here, but in today's sophisticated capitalist societies, there must be other synonyms much as the Eskimos supposedly had 40 words for snow."

You're asking quite a lot from our imagination strapped journalist brethern.

Third? Riiiiiight! More like 100th (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694876)

Third 'Space Tourist' Blasts Off Into Space

They don't have pilots now?
The pilots never tested this? etc

the offblast happened in Kazakhstan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13694918)

was Borat around to cover the story for his television show?

The interesting thing is: (1)

Guardian of Terra (753181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694923)

Now, when we have American in orbit, we can take more aggresive stance towards payments-for-flights. We could not do that day ago because we could've scared him off, running away from Baikonur :) "We will also discuss compensation for McArthur's return because formally speaking we don't have any such obligation, either."

Get your tourist ass off my space station (0, Troll)

Brent Spiner (919505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13694987)

So do we have any say in who gets to go to the space station? It is the international space station, and I seriously doubt space agencies other than the Russian Federal want a Backstreet Boy hanging out up there.

Re:Get your tourist ass off my space station (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695722)



Since the Russians are the only country currently capable of bringing crew and cargo to and from the space station, I think they have the right to put whoever they damn well please in their crew.

Re:Get your tourist ass off my space station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13695919)

When the new station was proposed, Congress said no way, $6-billion was way too much. So, NASA trumped up the "international" space station. Let's bring Russia in on it.
That was s'posed to make it cheaper for us.

Well guess what... Russia has been broke a lot longer than the ISS has been around. We had to pay them to make their module -- out of scrap parts they had lying around. We had to pay them launch it. All that cost us more than if we had done it ourselves.

Then, we had to build and install converters and couplers, because the scrap parts Russia built their module out of was up to spec. We had spend even more money to send up guys to attach the module. Three space walks alone were spent just hooking up cables and converters.

And, let's not forget that to make it "international" and reachable by the Russians, we had to greatly increase the inclination of the orbit. That means, we have to burn more fuel to get to it, which means we carry a few tons less cargo each trip.

Now, Russia is making money off it, using it as a get-away for anybody with enough cash. Nice.

Re:Get your tourist ass off my space station (1)

bbc (126005) | more than 8 years ago | (#13699067)

[snipped list of what bringing the Russians aboard has cost the US]

It costs the Russians somewhere around 7M US$ to bring a NASA astrounaut to the ISS. It would have cost NASA ca. 71M US$ to do the same, if they only could manage to stop their flying bricks from blowing up every time the things need to do something more complicated than floating through the void. If anything, NASA has saved approximately 324M US$ since 2003 by taking the Russian route.

Re:Get your tourist ass off my space station (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13701272)

oh come on, don't be a jackass!

For me it's the same pays for the violins, but if NASA did pay for russians to get their part done, big deal, the thing that matters is that they got it DONE!

It fuels research & development, and remember: Russians are those who gets there cheap & reliable!
It's very important to develop methods to get there cheaper.

Besides, internation space station sounds neater x)

To be serious, it brings the two countries closer together, and rest of the world, now to get ESA participating...

Proud of the Russians (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695005)

> "The cash-strapped Russian Federal Space Agency has turned to space tourism to generate money."

"...Meanwhile, the American cash filled Space Agency (NASA) is still unable to put men into space...even after billions of dollars have been spent!"

To me, we Americans still do not get it! Clearly, of the two space agencies, one of them is doing or getting it right. Can we say it is we the Americans? I doubt, but stand to be corrected.

Re:Proud of the Russians (1)

delphi125 (544730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695151)

To me, you are a troll.

NASA does put people in to space. It is a risky business, but the risk is no more or less with the Russians, statistically speaking.

I'm not saying NASA is perfect, by any means. I'm not an American either. But your rhetoric is just wrong.

Re:Proud of the Russians (1)

Bonhamme Richard (856034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695265)

"Cash filled Space Agency" and NASA in the same sentence?

1965 NASA budget: 5 billion (rough 28 billion in todays $$)

2006 NASA budget: 16 billion

In 1965, NASA was only concerned with putting a man on the moom.

Today, NASA is working (all at the same time, mind you) towards:

Putting a man on Mars.

Sending dozens of rovers to Mars.

Putting satellites in orbit over Moons of the Gas giants.

Continue operation of objects leaving the Solar System.

And about a dozen other operations and projects of varying importance that I, as an uninterested outsider have no knowledge of.

So NASA is working on a considerately smaller budget than it was during the space race, and does much more.

A little research has giving me a budget for the RKA of just under 1 billion (900 million) but I'm unaware of any Russian space efforts beyond basic earth orbit. How many Mars landers do they have?

Re:Proud of the Russians (2, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695408)

The RKA only builds rockets and LEO spaceships, it does not really manufacture or manage satellites and probes. In USA, for example, JPL does most of the satellite work, along with the private sector, so this division of labor is not out of the ordinary.

In Russia, space science is done by the Academy of Sciences, as you can see at the IKI Web Site [iki.rssi.ru], for example. Communications satellites are done by other organizations, civilian as well as military.

With regard to your question, the list of current and future projects that are managed by IKI is on that Web page, with English translations in most cases. Here is an example [integral.rssi.ru] of one of the projects.

Re:Proud of the Russians (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697849)

In addition to "basic earth orbit" capability (i.e. all the records that Mir holds), the Russians also explored the moon with a series of robotic rovers (google for "lunakhod"), and even retrieved lunar samples back to earth via robotic unmanned missions (call me when NASA achieves this). The Russians are also the only country to have a probe land on Venus and take photos of the searingly hot surface.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget that the Russians are the ones keeping the ISS alive via regular trips by robotic supply craft (a capability the US doesn't have), not to mention that they have a *safe* way to get people there *and* back, and that their costs of doing so are a fraction of the shuttle which despite being an impressive technical achievement is a disaster in terms of meeting it's operational and cost goals. Finally, before you say "yeah, well at least the US can build a shuttle", perhaps you should first google for "buran" - the Russian shuttle that, yet again unmanned, was able to take off, orbit the earth and land without any loss of tiles, before the project was scrapped due to lack of funds.

One way tourism? (0, Offtopic)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695092)

Let's pool together and send George and Dick into orbit.
Will the Russians give us 50% off if we don't want them back?

Re:One way tourism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13695959)

yay!!

How long does he get to stay up there? (0)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695205)

Twenty million is a non trivial amount of money. And I suppose he is doing some experiments of his own up there, but how much time does $20 million buy your average space tourist on the go? And how much return on investment are his experiments likely to generate for him?

If the duration of the stay is long enough, I suppose that you could conceivibly do some worth while research. I wonder what the cost would have to drop to for various large corporations to be willing to pay the cost to put some of their science people onto the ISS for prolonged research?

END COMMUNICATION

Re:How long does he get to stay up there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13695344)

Twenty million is a non trivial amount of money. And I suppose he is doing some experiments of his own up there, but how much time does $20 million buy your average space tourist on the go?

And how much does it cost to get a few seconds of near weightlesness on the "vomit comet"?

 

Re:How long does he get to stay up there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13695828)

Whatever the duration, it was obviously worth $20M to him. He's up there, isn't he?

$200-$300+ is a nontrivial amount to many average folk, yet they're willing to spend that than on an iPod than on a comparable MP3 player a fraction of the cost, (which probably also includes an otherwise deal-breaking radio tuner!)

Re:How long does he get to stay up there? (1)

bbc (126005) | more than 8 years ago | (#13699015)

The launch of a Soyuz costs around 20M US$. Roskosmos is basically having Olsen pay for the entire flight. Still, that is pretty cheap. NASA will have to pay Energia (or whoever the operator is, that's not quite clear) 60M US$, and a tourist who wants to fly around the moon (that includes two Soyuz launches) pays 100M US$ to Space Adventures, an American company. The two launches for the moonflight are necessary to get the Soyuz-TMA to escape orbit [astronautix.com].

Schools will get to talk to Olsen via ham radio (2, Informative)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695446)

According to the ARRL [arrl.org], two schools will get to talk to Greg Olsen (KC2ONX [qrz.com]) via ham radio:
Onboard the Soyuz transporter will be Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR [qrz.com], Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev and space tourist Greg Olsen, KC2ONX [qrz.com], of Princeton, New Jersey. ... While in space, Olsen plans to conduct Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group QSOs with two schools in New Jersey and one in New York. Following joint crew operations, Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev, Flight Engineer John Phillips, KE5DRY [qrz.com], and Olsen are scheduled to return to Earth October 10 in the Soyuz vehicle now docked at the ISS.

Live webcasts from Space Station (3, Interesting)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695741)

According to the site for Sensors Unlimited [sensorsinc.com] (Olsen's company), Dr. Gregory Olsen will be doing a number of live webcasts from the International Space Station, from October 3-7.

non-astronaut?? (3, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13695940)

From TFSummary:
Olsen is the third non-astronaut to visit the orbiting station.
Stop me if I am wrong, but doesn't "astronaut" mean "space traveler"? How does this make him a non-astronaut?

Or is it because, since he went up with the Russians, he is a "Cosmonaut"?

Seriously, this guy is going up there and doing some science, rather than just hanging out for the ride. He must have gone through some training in order to be able to go, regardless of the money he spent.

So, unless by "non-astronaut" you mean "cosmonaut", you are insulting the man, rather unfairly IMHO.

Re:non-astronaut?? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13699052)


The term, "Astronaut" implies (in most American's minds, probably) an ex-test pilot tough guy that has the "grit" and "balls" to do something risky.

Not the third space tourist--more like the fifth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696140)

The first two space tourists just happened to be members of congress. In April 1985, Senator Jake Garn (UT) flew on space shuttle mission 51-D. In January 1986, Representative Bill Nelson (FL) flew on mission 61-C. Both of these people should be called space tourists because they sure as hell were not professional astronauts.

you forgot the one that didnt come back.... (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 8 years ago | (#13700150)

the lady teacher on challanger, that was #1.

Also John Glenn in his 70s was hardly a prime modern astro. Make him a 1/2 tourist even though hes an oldschool astro.

'Third Space' tourist?! (1)

heroicnonsense (876263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697825)

Did anyone else read that wrong and thought he was a 'Third Space' tourist? Haven't we learned fron the ancient races?!

$20 million for a week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13706281)

It would be more useful to spend a few of them in sites like Give me a dollar [givemeadollar.org]
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