BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Space tourist docks with station
Gregory Olsen before the launch

Fare-paying space tourist Gregory Olsen has arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) - for a stay he expects to be more hard work than a holiday.

The Russian Soyuz rocket, which also delivered a new two-man crew for the ISS, took off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch site on Saturday.

The US businessman and scientist is taking a 10-day trip to the ISS. He is the third person to holiday there.

The ticket price was not disclosed but is thought to be up to 11m ($19.3m).

'Hard work'

Members of Dr Olsen's family watched the docking with US and Russian space officials at Russian Mission Control in Korolyov, outside Moscow.

Dr Olsen has said he expects the trip to be a working holiday - and plans to carry out a number of self-designed experiments while he is on board.

"The term 'tourist' doesn't do justice to all the work I've put in, or the work that the people at the Gagarin centre (outside Moscow) put in preparing us," Dr Olsen said before take-off.

International Space Station
The new two-man ISS crew will carry out two or three spacewalks
He also expects to test equipment for his firm, Sensors Unlimited, which develops and produces highly sensitive film and photo cameras, and works with the US space agency (Nasa).

Officials said the rocket passengers would have to wait about three hours before the air locks to the ISS were opened, allowing them to meet the station's crew.

Commander William McArthur from the US, and Russian Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, will then take over from Sergei Krikalev and John Phillips, who have been in space since April.

During their stay, McArthur and Tokarev - the 12th ISS crew - will do two or three spacewalks to install equipment and carry out maintenance.

Krikalev and Phillips will return to Earth along with Mr Olsen on 11 October.

Two other people have previously taken a holiday on the station: American Dennis Tito in 2001 and South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002.

'Space tourist' blasts off to ISS
01 Oct 05 |  Science/Nature
Deal signed to put Olsen in space
06 Jul 05 |  Science/Nature
Q&A: Third space tourist
04 May 04 |  Science/Nature
Adventures in space
30 Jul 02 |  Hardtalk

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific