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Doctors Give Green Light For Flight Of Next Space Tourist

Nik Halik.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 12, 2008
Russian doctors gave two would-be space tourists, Richard Garriott and Nik Halik, a clean bill of health paving the way for specialist training and a flight to the space station, a spokesman said Monday.

"Richard Garriott and his backup Nik Halik have been allowed to undergo special physical training at Star City. No contraindications were detected in the candidates against training and the flight to the International Space Station," Mark Belakovsky from the Medical Biological Problems Institute said.

Earlier, Sergei Tafrov, a deputy head of the Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, said sixth space tourist Garriott, 46, the son of former NASA astronaut Owen K. Garriott and a U.S. game developer, and Halik, 38, an Australian entrepreneur, are already undergoing physical training and studying Russian.

Halik will take part in the Soyuz TMA-13 mission if Garriott is unable to participate in the flight, but even if he cannot, he is determined to fly to the ISS in the future, he told U.S. Space Adventures, the only current space tourism provider.

After the $3 million training program the two men will be certified as fully-trained astronauts.

Dennis Tito, an American businessman and former NASA scientist, became the first space tourist when he visited the ISS in 2001. He was followed by South African computer millionaire Mark Shuttleworth in 2002, and Gregory Olsen, a U.S. entrepreneur and scientist, in 2005.

In 2006 Anousheh Ansari, 40, a U.S. passport holder of Iranian descent and communications head, became the first female space tourist, followed by Charles Simonyi, 58, a U.S. passport holder born in Hungary and a key figure in developing Microsoft's Word and Excel applications, in 2007.

The space tourists paid about $20 million each for the pleasure of spending a week on the orbital station, but Russia said the price for commercial space flights was set to rise in the future, reaching $25 million.

Source: RIA Novosti

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New Space Tourists Start Training In Russia
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 07, 2008
A U.S. computer game developer and his backup an Australian entrepreneur are undergoing training near Moscow to be the next space tourist, a training center spokesman said Wednesday. Richard Garriott, 46, the son of former NASA astronaut Owen K. Garriott, and Nik Halik, 38, started training for the next trip to the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for October 2008, at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center located in Star City, northeast Moscow, in late January.







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