Billionaut Brin Aims for the Stars

Master of the Online Universe
The Observer

Turning medical research on its head is just one of Brin’s current projects. At the same time as being involved, as part of a triumvirate with co-founders Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt, with the day-to-day running of Google, his expansion plans stretch from literature – Google has hopes of digitising every book ever published – into outer space.

He is one of the founder members of the Orbital Mission Explorers Circle, set up by the space tourism company Space Adventures, which has cost him $5m in deposit, while Google has sponsored a competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. “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,” he said last summer.

This is no doubt something he has inherited from his mother Eugenia, a scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre near Washington DC, and his father Michael, who only became a professor of mathematics because plans to study astronomy were thwarted by the university admissions policies in the USSR of the early 1970s, which discriminated against Jewish people…

It would be tempting to say that the Earth is Brin’s playground, but he has already told us that he intends to fly far higher than that.

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