Monday, October 10, 2005

The Globe and Mail: Space tourist returns to Earth

: "Arkalyk, Kazakhstan — The seven-day space sojourn of an American millionaire scientist came to a close as he and a Russian-American crew undocked from the international space station and sped back to Earth, landing early Tuesday on the windswept steppes of Kazakhstan.

The bone-jarring descent brought an end to Gregory Olsen's space station visit, the third trip by a private citizen to the orbiting laboratory. The Soyuz spacecraft that carried them covered the approximately 400 kilometres from the station to Earth in 3½ hours.

Mr. Olsen, American astronaut William McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev blasted off from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on Oct. 1 and docked with the space station two days later.

Mr. McArthur and Mr. Tokarev will stay aboard the station for six months, while Mr. Olsen returns with John Phillips and Sergei Krikalev, who were there since April."

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