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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Among the stars

Space-traveler tells students to aim high

When Greg Olsen tells young people to reach for the stars, they listen, because he’s speaking from experience.

gho ventures<BR><BR>Floating aboard
Floating aboard the Soyuz spacecraft that took him to the International Space Station is but one once-in-a-lifetime experience that Greg Olsen tells schoolchildren about when he talks of reaching dreams—by never giving up.
Last fall, after 900 hours of training and a ticket that cost $20 million, Olsen traveled into space—only the third civilian “tourist” to do so. He went aboard a Russian Soyuz craft, visiting the International Space Station for a week and orbiting the Earth 150 times. He arranged the trip through a U.S. company, Space Adventures.

Before you ask, the answer is, “yes.” The self-made millionaire and scientist-entrepreneur said the money was well spent.

And now Olsen relates his experiences to schoolchildren nationwide (contact him about programs). But it’s not adventure that motivates these travels. “Greg is spreading his story because he wants to inspire young people,” said Paul Lutz, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Princeton Junction, N.J., which Olsen attends and where he is among the leaders of the summer forum series.
Olsen’s message is that no dream is out of reach if you follow his one piece of advice. “I tell them to never give up,” Olsen said. “It’s advice that works for kids and adults.


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