Friday, March 10, 2006
Japanese entrepreneur Daisuke “Dice-K” Enomoto, 34, is set to become the fourth private citizen in space. The Arlington, Virginia-based company “Space Adventures”, which specializes in spaceflight-related travel, announced on March 7 that Enomoto was approved by the Russian space agency as a flight candidate.
Enomoto has now passed the physical examinations necessary to be cleared for training, finished the medical preparation, and signed the contract for the flight. His training with the Russian Federal Space Agency will include physical and aeronautical preparation as well as Russian language instruction.
Enomoto will be the first Japanese person to fly to the International Space Station (ISS). His trip, to take place in a Soyuz TMA-9 rocket, is scheduled for September, with a ticket price of US$20 million.
United States entrepreneur Gregory Olsen returned from the ISS in October 2005; previous space vacationers were American Dennis Tito in 2001 and South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002.