Monday, September 03, 2007
Billionaire Russian Vladimir Gruzdev Named Space Tourist
(REUTERS Photo) - Arctic explorers (L-R) Vladimir Gruzdev, Artur Chilingarov and Anatoly Sagalevich shake hands after their arrival in Moscow August 7, 2007. Gruzdev, a grocery tycoon and politician, planted a flag on the North Pole's seabed last month will now go into orbit as the first Russian space tourist.
Vladimir Gruzdev, 40, a grocery billionaire tycoon [85th] and State Duma politician who planted a flag on the North Pole's seabed last month will now go into orbit as the first Russian and the world's sixth space tourist on the 100th Soyuz spacecraft in September 2008, if all goes as planned.
Gruzdev, underwent all the necessary medical tests in June and has been formally approved for a flight on board the Russian-made Soyuz-TMA-13 spacecraft in September 2008 after enetring into a $20-million dollar flight contract, confirmed Energia. He is a deputy in the State Duma for the United Russia party holding the majority of seats in the lower chamber and it said to be very close to the Kremlin.
The ower of one of the largest grocery chains in Russia, 7th Continent (Sed'moi Kontinent), Gruzdev, was one of three submariners who planted a rust-proof titanium Russian flag at the North Pole on August 2nd, 14,000 feet under water, so that Russia could bolster their claim for a larger chunk of resources in the Arctic seabed.
Russian businessman, parliamentarian, and now seabed and space explorer, Gruzdev's growing international media notoriety will serve only to heighten political and economic stakes of Russia's legal claims to the Artic oil fields valued at more than a TRILLION dollars.