Esther Dyson to be next high-techie to blast into space

The multi-millionaire, high-tech entrepreneurs continue to flock to space. Private space exploration company Space Adventures today said Esther Dyson, an industry guru who has been involved in all manner of technology start-ups and digital ventures, will train as a back-up crew member alongside ex-Microsoft developer Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., who recently announced his second mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in spring 2009.

Simonyi, who help develop Microsoft Word and Excel, will train with the Soyuz TMA-14 crew in preparation for a spring mission to the ISS. Simonyi last flew into space in 2007, a trip that reportedly cost him $25 million. Earlier this year Google co-founder Sergei Brin put down $5 million toward a flight to the international space station in 2011 also courtesy of Space Adventures. Meanwhile, computer game entrepreneur Richard Garriott is set to fly to the ISS this month. Garriott is paying at least $30 million to launch toward the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship according to Space Adventures.

Dyson, who will pay $3 million to be a back-up crew member, has a passion for flying as she not only has invested in Space Adventures but she also has a share of Airship Ventures, a California firm looking to build zeppelins for use in sight seeing flights, advertising operations, corporate and event trips and scientific missions. Dyson, who is chairman of EDventure Holdings, also has investments in other aircraft concerns such as rocket aircraft supporter XCOR Aerospace, and sport aircraft builder Icon Aircraft.

She seems to be moving away from the high-tech world a bit. Dyson told Vator/tv.com: "It's not that the Internet is boring," she said. "But to some extent the intellectual risk is gone."

Dyson continued: "This is the next place we need to go, other than the oceans. We can go to Mars and figure out how to manipulate a climate and take that knowledge back to earth. We can do asteroid mining for precious metals. We can do a lot of drug development in zero gravity. Just like the Internet, or just like going to America, you go to uncharted territory, and it's amazing what new things you learn and new opportunities you discover."

Dyson said in a release: "My father helped design a rocket-ship when I was a kid, and I have always assumed I will go into space myself."

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