Internet entrepreneur will be the first South African to fly to space and the world's second privately-funded space explorer
Arlington, VA, April 24, 2002 - Space Adventures' second orbital client Mark Shuttleworth will launch tomorrow, April 25, to the International Space Station (ISS). Shuttleworth and his two crewmates, Russian commander Yuri Gidzenko and Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori, will take off on a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 2:26 a.m. EDT, and will spend 10 days in space.
Shuttleworth follows in the footsteps of Space Adventures' first orbital space flight client - and the world's first space tourist - Dennis Tito, who flew to the ISS in April 2001.
"Space Adventures has been invaluable in supporting me on this long journey towards the realization of my dreams of space flight. This flight is a personal challenge and an opportunity to encourage students in South Africa to embrace mathematics, science and technology," said Shuttleworth, 28, a native of Cape Town. While in orbit, Shuttleworth aims to carry out a series of scientific experiments relevant to South Africa, including biomedical research on HIV/AIDS.
Shuttleworth signed the contract with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (RASA) in December 2001. Space Adventures has been acting as Shuttleworth's representative in negotiating his space flight contract with RASA, and has worked with the various Russian space organizations to provide comprehensive training, as well as logistical and legal support for all aspects of his flight. Shuttleworth underwent approximately eight months of training prior to his flight, including a one-week orientation program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
"We are very excited about Mr. Shuttleworth's journey and look forward to making the dream of space flight a reality for more people," said Eric Anderson, President and CEO of Space Adventures. Future opportunities for orbital space tourist flights are available each April and October through Space Adventures.
Interview opportunities with Space Adventures representatives are available upon request.
About Space Adventures, Ltd.
Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space tourism company, offers a wide range of space experiences, from zero-gravity and high-altitude supersonic flights, cosmonaut training and space flight qualification programs on Earth, to actual flights into space. With offices in Arlington, Va. and Moscow, Space Adventures is developing a U.S.-based spaceport from which sub-orbital space flights will begin operations by 2005. For more information about Space Adventures, please call 1-888-85-SPACE or visit www.spaceadventures.com.
Phone: +1 (703) 524-7172