Press Release

NSS Hails the Restart of Space Tourism and the Next Private Space Explorer, Dr. Gregory Olsen

By SpaceRef Editor
March 30, 2004
Filed under , ,

Announcement demonstrates public desire for spaceflight and underscores
key role commercial activity can play in supporting national exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C. National Space Society Executive Director George
Whitesides issued the following statement following the announcement on
March 29th by Space Adventures that Dr. Gregory Olsen will be the next
‘private space explorer’ to ride a Soyuz spacecraft into orbit.

“NSS members welcome the continuing support of space tourism by the
Russian government and Space Adventures. As a private space flight
passenger, Dr. Olsen continues in the tradition of technically
knowledgeable entrepreneurs like Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth.

“Private space explorers like Dr. Olsen are making a significant
contribution to the space program, both financially and scientifically.
They bring much needed funds to the Russian government at a time when
the US and others are constrained in their ability to help. Dr. Olsen’s
bold decision also demonstrates the strong level of interest in public
space travel.

“We commend Dr. Olsen’s pledge to promote spaceflight via school
appearances after his return from space. Continuing development of
space technology in all countries will bring down the cost of human
spaceflight, so that more people can experience it firsthand.

“Finally, we note that Dr. Olsen is currently planning to launch in
April 2005 onboard a Soyuz rocket. We note with excitement that the
next private citizens to go to space may well be before this, with the
expected suborbital launch of X PRIZE competitors later this year. The
growing number of private space tourism opportunities heralds the
arrival of a new age of space travel.”

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The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, international,
grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring
civilization. NSS has more than 22,000 members and 50 chapters in the
United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Ireland, and the
United Kingdom. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the
preeminent citizen’s voice on space.


1620 I Street NW, Suite 615

Washington, DC 20006


202-463-8497 (fax)

SpaceRef staff editor.