Source Pravda.Ru

American unfit for space flight

Gregory Olsen, an American millionaire and a potential space tourist, was notified that he was medically unfit to fly to the International Space Station, the Gagarin Astronaut Training Center told RIA Novosti. The decision was made Tuesday night.

Mr. Olsen was to reach the ISS aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft in April 2005 as part of an experienced space crew and spend one week on the station.

He went through a theoretical course in Zvezdniy Gorodok (Star Town), in the Moscow region.

Earlier, Russian doctors from the Biological and Medical Problems Institute approved the 58-year-old businessman's training.

Mr. Olsen made his money in optics and he was going to pay $20 million to travel to space with two cosmonauts.

Mr. Olsen preferred to be called a private researcher rather than a space tourist applicant.

"Dr. Olsen will become a private space scientist and carry out his own experiments in orbit. He plans to implement a kind of private space program aboard the ISS," Eric Anderson, the head of the Space Adventures, told RIA Novosti earlier in New York. Space Adventures has an official contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency to find applicants for the tourist space flights.

Sensors Unlimited, Inc., headed by Mr. Olsen, develops and produces high resolution infrared cameras and closely cooperates with NASA. Beside testing the company's new equipment, Mr. Olsen planned to carry out crystallogenesis experiments aboard the ISS.

The first space tourist, Denis Tito, visited the ISS in 2001. South African Mark Shuttleworth became the second to fly to the station in 2002.

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