Students of the Freeport Public Schools met Dr. Greg Olsen, an entrepreneur and scientist on Nov. 8 at the Freeport High School High School performing arts center. Students filed into the rows of seats hear stories from Olsen’s experiences on the International Space Station, ISS, and details about his rigorous astronaut training.
Olsen is the founder of Sensors Unlimited, manufacturer of near-infrared cameras. who spent $20 million of his own money to fly as a private citizen also known as space explorer, on a Soyuz rocket to the ISS in 2005 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
He has a Bachelor’s in Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering and Physics as well as a Master’s in Physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He received his Ph.D. in Material Science from the University of Virginia. Olsen was the third private citizen to make a trip to the ISS and completed 900 hours of preparation for a year and a half prior to going into space at Russia’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow. During his presentation, Olsen showed the students pictures and videos of his trip.
He also told the students though he wasn’t a professional astronaut, his passion for math and sciences eventually provided him with the opportunity to visit space.
“The next time you feel down or if you’re afraid you’re going to fail a class,” Olsen said to the students. “Don’t give up. If I can do it, you can do it too.”
Presently, he is the president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, NJ who has developed vapor phase epitaxial crystal growth of optoelectronic devices like laser diodes as a research scientist for RCA Labs, according to the GHO ventures website. He also holds 12 patents, author of more than 100 technical papers, and is cofounder of EPITAXX, a manufacturer of fiber-optic detectors.