Space Adventures announced today that Australian entrepreneur Nik Halik will be the backup to Richard Garriott on Garriott’s fall 2008 flight to the ISS. Halik is paying $3 million for the privilege of being the backup; that money can be used later towards the cost of his own orbital or other spaceflight. Halik, 38, is described in the press release as “the CEO and founder of several companies including Financial Freedom Institute and Money Masters”. He is also an adventure tourist with plans to climb Mount Everest in 2009. He’s also an author of an upcoming book, The Thrillionaire, which the release describes as “an autobiography that also provides astute investment strategies.” Enough to make you feel lazy, no matter how busy you are.
Readers might recall that Halik claimed to have been selected as the backup two months ago, according to accounts in the Australian media. At that time Space Adventures said that no selection had been made but that Halik was one of the candidates. Evidently that premature announcement didn’t spoil his ultimate selection.