Walter Anderson

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Walter Anderson

"In 1989, Anderson gave $80,000 to finance the International Space University; in 1991, $100,000 to found the Space Frontier Foundation; in 1994, $5 million to start the Foundation for the International Nongovernmental Development of Space; and between 1996 and 1999, $40 million to build the Roton, a manned, reusable spaceship. Then a few months ago, in one of his eriodic calls to me, he rang me up: I'm in Russia! Anderson was midway through three days of talks with Yuri Semyonov, president of the private Russian space corporation Energia, and in a move that would later marginalize NASA from the Anderson-Russia-America love triangle, he was arranging for a new company, called MirCorp, to lease the space station Mir....

"in 1979 he was one of the first 300 employees at MCI; that in 1984, he founded Mid Atlantic Telecom, a regional long-distance carrier, the first to integrate phone and voicemail service; and that 10 years later, he started Esprit Telecom Group, cracking into the newly regulated European market. That same year he used $6.2 million from the sale of MidAtlantic to seed a Bahamas-based holding company called Gold & Appel, named after the Golden Apple, the second volume in the 1970's, sex-and-conspiracy-theory cult pulp trilogy, The Illuminatus! Trilogy. He has more or less doubled his capital every year since. In 1998, Anderson sold Esprit for $1 billion in stock and assumed debt. He presumed he'd need all that money to build rockets and space colonies." [1]

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  1. Elizabeth Weil , American Megamillionaire Gets Russki Space Heap!, New York Times, accessed January 19, 2009.