Google Co-Founder Buys Ticket To Space

Dennis Faas's picture

Well, it was going to happen eventually, but it seems that space tourism isn't really that far away after all. News agencies are reporting that Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently put a down payment on one such trip with an outfit called Space Adventures. BBC news reports that Brin paid a $5 million down payment to reserve his seat on a flight that will take him and one other passenger to the International Space Station in 2011.

Said Brin, "I am a big believer in the exploration and commercial development of the space frontier and am looking forward to the possibility of going into space." (Source:

The travellers will be flying in a Russian craft, as the deal was struck with the Russian Space Agency. The estimated $35 million price tag on the flight itself will likely be augmented by the fact that an entirely new craft will need to be purpose-built for the trip. The two passengers will accompany a Russian crew to the International Space Station. (Source:

There is some concern on the part of Google about what the repercussions would be if something were to go wrong. After the recent Columbia accident in 2003, fear of space travel has been heightened, and Brin has been described by Google as "critical to the overall management of Google," and his loss "could seriously harm [Google's] business." (Source:

The project is still a ways off and remains in its pre-planning stages. However, the impending reality of non-scientific space travel is food for thought. How important is it that we go there? Is it worth millions to do so? Is this the frivolous over-spending of people with too much money, or is this the next frontier in space exploration?

There are no easy answers, but it will be very interesting to see how this story progresses. It remains to be seen whether civilians will actually make it to space.

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