Google Founder Signs-Up for Russian Space Voyage

13 June 2008

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: It's not entirely impossible that certain rivals have expressed a desire to consign Google co-founder Sergey Brin (pictured) to outer space. Such ill-wishers, of course, would not include the top brass at Yahoo, AOL and MSN.

But Sergey is about oblige his competitors without their need to resort to extraordinary rendition.

Brin, America's fifth-richest man, according to Forbes magazine, has a net worth of $18.5bn (€11.5bn, £9.1bn). So he won't have winced unduly at shelling-out a meagre $5m deposit to secure his place on a flight aboard a Russian Soyuz space station.

The Financial Times, diligent as ever in its pursuit of fact, has googled Google's regulatory SEC filings and learned that the search giant regards Sergey as "critical to the overall management of Google".

Also that "the loss of any of our management or key personnel could seriously harm our business".

Wall Street moneymen may therefore be smitten by a tsunami of nervous tics to read in Scientific American, that the odds of failure on any given space flight are one in 145, or 0.7%.

Sergey, however, is unfazed by these unpropitious odds, which would deter most of us from boarding a commercial airliner (crash odds: one in 2m).

"I am a big believer in the exploration and commercial development of the space frontier and am looking forward to the possibility of going into space," says the fearless one.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff