Sergey Brin, space tourist?

An intriguing short item in today’s San Jose Mercury News about the Space Adventures press conference later today:

Space tourists are getting their own ride. Space Adventures, a Virginia company that arranges passage for wealthy explorers to ride on Russian Soyuz rockets to the International Space Station, plans to buy a Soyuz flight all its own in 2011, with the option of buying more.

A new investor is likely to occupy one of the two available seats on Space Adventures’ 2011 flight: Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google. He made a $5 million investment in the company that will serve as a deposit on a future flight.

Update: The New York Times has a more detailed report this morning, but with the same essential details.

Brin clearly has an interest in space: he spoke by video at the unveiling of the Google Lunar X Prize last September, and Google has a close relationship with NASA’s Ames Research Center. And for someone of Brin’s wealth, the $25-30 million (or so) needed for an orbital flight is veritable pocket change. We’ll find out in a few hours if it’s true…

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