On October 1, 2005, Greg Olsen, a successful high-tech entrepreneur, climbed aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket and blasted off for the International Space Station. He was only the third private citizen to make that trip.
In this inspiring and entertaining book we learn how a self-described "average guy" went from underachieving juvenile delinquent who almost didn't get into college, to PhD scientist with 12 patents in electronics. We witness the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and occasional strokes of luck (or "grace," as he calls them) that propelled him to start and sell two companies, one of them for $600 million in stock. And we accompany him as he overcomes health issues, a bout of debilitating despair, and the Russian medical bureaucracy to achieve his dream of becoming a space traveler.
Along the way Olsen reflects on the mental outlook and work habits that made his success possible. It's a wild ride - one that will leave you with a new sense of optimism about human potential.
About the Author
Greg Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After training for five months (900 hours) at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, he launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 on October 1, 2005 with Cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev and Astronaut Bill McArthur (Expedition 12). He then docked to the ISS on October 3, and returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-6 on October 11 with Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Astronaut John Phillips (Expedition 11). He performed more than 150 orbits of the earth and logged almost 4 million miles of weightless travel during his 10 days in space.
After an illustrious career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Greg is now president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, NJ where he manages his "angel" investments. Greg received a BS Physics (1966), a BSEE and MS Physics (1968) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, then was awarded a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Virginia (1971). Greg founded EPITAXX, a fiber-optic detector manufacturer in 1984 together with Vladimir Ban. It was sold in 1990 for $12 million. He then founded Sensors Unlimited, a near-infrared camera manufacturer in 1992 with Marshall Cohen. Sensors was sold to Finisar Corp. for $600 million in 2000, repurchased by the management team in 2002 for $6 million, then sold again to Goodrich, Corp. in 2005 for $60 million.
Greg is currently "Entrepreneur in Residence" at Princeton University.