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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Gregory Olsen, the Third Private Citizen To Make a Paid Trip Into Space, To Speak At NJIT

Gregory Olsen, an entrepreneur and scientist who in October 2005 became the third private citizen to make a paid trip into space, will meet with  students from the Albert Dorman Honors College, the Educational Opportunity Program and faculty from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to talk about his space travel. The talk will be 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in room 112 of Eberhardt Hall.

After an illustrious career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Olsen is now president of GHO Ventures, Princeton, where he manages his “angel” investments, and performs numerous speaking engagements to encourage children – especially minorities and females - to consider careers in science and engineering.

Editor’s Note: Journalists who would like to cover the talk, please call Robert Florida at (973) 596-5203.  

Olsen allegedly paid $20 million to join a spacecraft expedition to the International Space Station (ISS); he spent 10 days in orbit.  

The most memorable aspect of the flight, he said, was floating around the ISS and watching Earth pass by in the window, adding that liftoff was also a highlight. During his flight, Olsen performed experiments for the European Space Agency designed to study the human body’s reaction to spaceflight.

Each day, he would swivel his head and body through a series of motions, then record his reactions in a notebook, Olsen said, adding that he also swabbed different areas inside the ISS for a bacterial study.  Olsen shared his spaceflight experience with students by way of ham radio sessions from the ISS, and has continued to share his experiences with students since he returned to Earth.

“It’s extremely important,” Olsen said of sharing his flight with others.  “We want to go into space, it’s the next step in exploration …we need to fire up the imaginations of people.”

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.