Announcing the Orbital Mission Explorers Club
First member: Google co-founder, Sergey Brin
by Carol Pinchefsky
Eric Anderson, CEO and president of Space Adventures, announced at a press conference today that Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, the world’s premier Internet search engine, will be Space Adventures’ next paying spaceflight participant.
Anderson also announced the creation of the Orbital Mission Explorers Circle (OMEC), a program that allows participants to reserve seats on future orbital spaceflights. Brin is the first “founding explorer,” a title he earned when he paid a $5 million deposit on an upcoming flight to the International Space Station ( ISS). Space Adventures has limited the number of founding explorers to six people.
Allowing people to reserve their seats on upcoming flights to the ISS has two benefits. First, it will help Space Adventures grow their business by receiving some of the fees up-front. “The truth is that space is expensive and will continue to be expensive unless people invest," said Anderson.
Second, it will allow people time to fly on their own schedule: the people who can afford the cost of an orbital flight tend to run multimillion dollar corporations; although money is not an issue, finding the time to train for the flight is.
Brin, who could not attend, said in a press release, “The Orbital Mission Explorers Circle enables me to make an immediate investment while preserving the option to participate in a future spaceflight.”
If the time slips away from the busy industrialist, the members of OMEC have the option of selling their seats to another potential space tourist.
Brin has not yet scheduled his flight, but it will likely take place after 2011, when Space Adventures launches its first private missions to the ISS.