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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

American Signs Up as Space Tourist

APU.S. millionaire Gregory Olsen speaking at a Space Adventures news conference in New York in March 2004.
The Federal Space Agency has signed a space tourist contract with U.S. millionaire Gregory Olsen, a spokesman said Wednesday, in a deal that would make the 60-year-old scientist only the third tourist to visit the international space station.

Olsen could fly to the orbiting station as early as October, when the next Soyuz mission is scheduled to bring supplies and a new crew to the station, said space agency spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko.

Olsen, founder of a New Jersey-based infrared-camera maker, resumed training last month at a site just outside of Moscow for the flight on a Soyuz spaceship.

Terms of the deal were not immediately released, but earlier reports said the flight could cost $20 million.

The deal was brokered by Virginia-based Space Adventures, the company that arranged trips for the only other two people to travel to the station as tourists -- American Dennis Tito and South African Mark Shuttleworth, Russian media reported.

Olsen, who holds advanced degrees in physics and materials science, has said he plans to bring along several of his company's state-of-the-art infrared cameras to do science experiments.

The orbiting station's current inhabitants, cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips, arrived there in April on a six-month mission.