Headlines > News > Greg Olsen Returns to Earth After Visit to the International Space Station

Greg Olsen Returns to Earth After Visit to the International Space Station

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:30 pm
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Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that American technology entrepreneur Greg Olsen, Ph.D. successfully landed in Kazakhstan after a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Dr. Olsen returned to Earth with the Expedition 11 crew, which was relieved after their six-month stay aboard the ISS.

Dr. Olsen, entrepreneur and founder of EPITAXX, Inc. and Sensors Unlimited, Inc., said upon his return, “The experience was more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined.” He continued, “I have a newfound sense of wonder seeing the Earth and stars from such an incredible perspective. Certainly, through my training I was prepared for the technical aspects, but I had no idea that I would be flooded with such amazement and joy after seeing my first sunrise and sunset from space and the feeling of continual weightlessness. It was an unforgettable experience that I am truly grateful for and will relive in my mind for the rest of my life.”

Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures, the company which organized the spaceflights for the world’s first and only private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito and the ‘First African in Space’ Mark Shuttleworth, said, “We are excited to welcome Greg home and congratulate him on this successful private mission. He has been an inspiration to me and I’m sure that his message of ‘never give up hope’ will inspire millions of others to follow their dreams.”

Dr. Olsen completed over 900 hours of training in Star City, Russia in preparation for his mission. While aboard the ISS, he participated in a research program prepared by the European Space Agency that studied the human body’s response to the microgravity environment. The experiments were designed to study the possible cause of nausea and lower back pain; and the evolution of human bacterial flora.

Through Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS), Dr. Olsen was able to connect with over 30 high school students in New Jersey and New York via HAM radio signal to discuss his experiences while in orbit. Dr. Olsen also spoke to family, friends and colleagues via video tele-bridge that was carried as a web cast, courtesy of Sensors Unlimited, Inc. and Space.comĀ®.

Dr. Olsen was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned dual bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University. After he finished his undergraduate work, he earned his masters in physics at Fairleigh Dickinson and then his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Virginia in 1971. From 1972 to 1983, he worked at RCA Laboratories, now known as the Sarnoff Corporation. In 1984, Dr. Olsen started his first company, EPITAXX, Inc. and later sold it for $12 million (USD). He founded Sensors Unlimited, Inc. in 1992, later sold it for $700 million (USD) in 2000, bought it back in 2002 for $6 million (USD) and sold it last month for $60 million (USD).

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Arlington, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance, Byron Lichtenberg and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott.

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