Olsen and the ISS Expedition 12 crew, commanded by NASA astronaut Bill McArthur with cosmonaut Valery Tokarev serving as flight engineer, docked at the space station at 1:27 a.m. EDT (0527 GMT). Both spacecraft were flying 220 miles above Central Asia as the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft eased into its berth at the Russian-built Pirs docking compartment outside the station’s Zvezda service.
Olsen, 60, is the third fare-paying visitor to the ISS, following the successful flights of South African Mark Shuttleworth in 2002 and U.S. entrepreneur Dennis Tito in 2001, respectively. Olsen’s $20 million flight, like those of Shuttleworth and Tito, were brokered with Russia’s Federal Space Agency by the space tourism firm Space Adventures.
“Dad, we love you so much and we’re so proud of you,” said one of Olsen’s two daughters, who attended his launch. “You look great up there.”