Space Adventures announced that Nik Halik of Australia has been chosen to train as the back-up crew member alongside the company’s orbital spaceflight candidate, famed game developer and son of former NASA astronaut, Richard Garriott, who is currently planning a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in October.
“Through his participation as a back-up crew member, Nik will experience first-hand how our clients train for spaceflight and he, himself, will be certified as a ‘fully-trained cosmonaut’ and will be named to an official space mission crew, a distinction that less than 1,000 people have ever had,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures.
“I am thrilled to be chosen as Richard’s back-up. I have dreamed of flying to space ever since I was a young boy. I watched recordings of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon’s surface and I vowed to follow,” said Nik Halik.
“The space station will be my first stop, with my eyes focused on the moon.”
“Not only is Nik a successful entrepreneur, but he is also an avid adventurer. Among his various expeditions, he was the first Australian to dive down five miles and land on the bow of the Titanic and he will be the first civilian from Australia to travel to space,” added Mr. Anderson.
“Nik and I have similar exploratory backgrounds and we’ll have many stories to share during our time together in Star City. I look forward to train with him because not only is it meant to prepare myself for flight, but also to prepare Nik for his future flight. I definitely will be on-hand for his eventual launch to space,” said Mr. Garriott.
The price of the program is $3,000,000 (USD) which includes the required spaceflight training costs, along with accommodations in Star City and other training locations.