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[b]Space Adventures Offers Unique Opportunity to Participate in Richard Garriott's Orbital Spaceflight Mission as Back-up Crew Member[/b]
Today, Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced that for the first time the coveted opportunity to train as a private space explorer alongside one of its orbital spaceflight candidates, and among professional astronauts, is now available to the public.
"Participation as an official back-up crew member is a once in a lifetime opportunity for an individual, or a company sponsoring an individual, to experience first-hand how our clients train for spaceflight," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. "It is with great enthusiasm that we, along with Richard, offer this position to a member of the public. The individual selected will be someone who not only has a genuine interest in human spaceflight, but also one who is able to be an active participant in Richard's mission, to include being featured in a documentary TV series."
Famed game developer and son of former NASA astronaut, Richard Garriott, currently planning a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2008, will begin spaceflight preparations after the first of the year.
"I want to involve as many people as possible in my mission and this is one of the most innovative ways to do so," said Richard Garriott. "I encourage anyone who has ever dreamed of traveling to space to contact to Space Adventures. Not only will the back-up crew member be certified as a 'fully-trained cosmonaut' and be named to an official space mission crew, a distinction that less than 1,000 people have ever had; but, our combined participation is a step forward in the progression of our expansion into the cosmos."
"The back-up crew member's financial investment into this program can be credited in-full toward a future orbital or lunar spaceflight mission," added Mr. Anderson. The price of the program is $3,000,000 (USD) which includes the required spaceflight training costs, along with accommodations in Star City and other training locations.
"If I had not trained as a back-up crew member in 2006, then I would never have flown to space that year," said Anousheh Ansari, Space Adventures' fourth orbital client and first female spaceflight participant to launch to the ISS. "The training was exhilarating and ultimately prepared me for my flight which I'm thankful for."
Mr. Garriott's spaceflight is the first in a series of missions that will accommodate commercial activity aboard the ISS. Involvement from the private sector will range from scientific and environmental research to educational outreach programming.
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