Let me preface this post with a disclaimer: I do not know whether this story is accurate or not, and I’ve debated whether to even write anything. But, I did find this story interesting and wanted to know if anyone out there has any additional information:
Known for globetrotting, the world, it seems, is not enough for the Gujarati community. Jay Patel will soon boldly go where no Amdavadi has gone before: space, the final frontier.
Patel, 29, who was born in the city and is set to be the first Gujarati to tour space, belongs to a diamond merchants’ family based in New York. He has interests in the hospitality business and is fascinated by aviation.
His 18-hour space flight may take place in November or by January 2010. Hollywood star John Travolta, Patel’s neighbour, is likely to be his co-passenger. Joining Patel and Travolta on the Space Van, a craft belonging to the United States-based PanAero Inc, will be Russian realty magnate Sergei Polonsky.
This is a report on a site called DNAIndia.com, which seems otherwise reputable.
I’ve heard nothing about PanAero before now. I did Google it, and discovered that the company was a competitor in the Ansari X Prize and had made a proposal to NASA’s COTS program. However, the company’s website seems both out-of-date (copyright 2007) and not very informative. PanAero’s founder, Len Cormier, passed away last June.
Does anyone know about the accuracy of this report? And what is the current status of PanAero?