American billionaire and Google co-founder Sergey Brin may become a space tourist in 2012, the president of Space Adventures announced at a press conference.
Eric Anderson said on Sunday that Sergey Brin was among the potential candidates to fly into space, and added that Space Adventures would continue to send tourists into space despite the fact that the ISS crew is to increase from three to six permanent members.
Earlier Anderson was cited on Universe Today as saying that the company would “continue providing orbital space flight opportunities to the ISS, even as the logistical and crew situation continues to evolve.”
Anderson said that there would be two vacant seats available on Soyuz spacecraft being built exclusively with private funding. A second option was when a third seat on occasional Soyuz missions became available.
Space tourist and Hungarian-born businessman, Charles Simonyi, who is due to return to Earth on April 8 aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, paid some $35 million for his flight to the ISS.
In June 2008, Brin invested $5 million in Space Adventures, the Virginia-based space tourism company. His investment will serve as a deposit for a flight scheduled for 2011. The company has organized seven flights sending six people to the ISS. Simonyi has traveled to the ISS twice.
Brin, 35, was born in Moscow and emigrated with his family to the United States when he was six years old. He is listed by Forbes to be the 32nd richest person in the world.