Space Adventures Announces Esther Dyson as Back-Up Crew Member for Spring 2009 Spaceflight Mission
Investor and Philanthropist will Train Alongside Charles Simonyi
October 7 2008
Today, Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company that provides human space missions to the world marketplace, announced that Esther Dyson, an investor in Space Adventures and many other innovative companies, will train as the back-up crew member alongside orbital spaceflight candidate Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., who is currently planning a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in spring 2009.
“As many of our investors are also space enthusiasts, we are delighted that as a back-up crew member, Esther will experience first-hand how our clients train for spaceflight,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “After successful completion of the program, she will be certified as a ‘fully trained cosmonaut’ and will be named to an official space mission crew. This is a distinction that less than 1,000 people have ever had. We look forward to the day when she launches to space herself.”
Space Adventures became world renowned in 2001 with the launch of client Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately funded spaceflight participant. Since then, the company has launched four other individuals to space, including Dr. Simonyi, who completed his first space mission in the spring of 2007.
“As an investor in Space Adventures, I am thrilled to be training as a cosmonaut and learning about space travel firsthand - especially with Charles, whom I have known since the 80s when he was writing software for Microsoft,” said Esther Dyson. “I fully expect to follow him all the way up to space sometime in the future. My father helped design a rocket-ship when I was a kid, and I have always assumed I will go into space myself.”
Mr. Anderson added, “Not only is Esther a successful investor and philanthropist, but she is also well-known in the blogosphere. She will be sharing her spaceflight training experience and insights with thousands of people and will undoubtedly inspire others to pursue their own dreams.”
The price of the back-up crew member program is $3,000,000 (USD), which includes the required spaceflight training costs, along with accommodations in Star City and other training locations.
Space Adventures’ current orbital spaceflight client, Richard Garriott, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, is scheduled to launch to the ISS on October 12, 2008.
About Esther Dyson:
Esther Dyson is chairman of EDventure Holdings. Following 25 years editing the computer industry newsletter Release 1.0 and hosting PC Forum, she is now an active investor/board member for a variety of start-ups in IT, consumer-directed health care/genetics, and air and space travel. Her aerospace investments include not only Space Adventures, but also XCOR Aerospace, Airship Ventures, Coastal Technologies Group and Icon Aircraft. Her successful exits have included Flickr and del.icio.us (both sold to Yahoo!), Medstory (sold to Microsoft) and Brightmail (sold to Symantec). She sits on the boards (among others) of Yandex, the leading Russian search engine; 23andMe, the consumer genome company; and WPP Group, the marketing/communications company. She is also a director of the Sunlight Foundation, the Santa Fe Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy. She will be blogging about her training at http://www.edventure.com/flightschool/blog
(mirrored at Huffington Post).
About Space Adventures:
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts.
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