The US technology tycoon Elon Musk, who heads Tesla electric cars and was one of the co-founders of PayPal, is preparing for lift-off in the latest stage of his personal space programme this week.
SpaceX, which Musk founded, is hoping to send a capsule into low Earth orbit on Tuesday, launching its rocket from the famed Cape Canaveral site in Florida. If successful, SpaceX would be the first commercial company to launch and bring anything back through the Earth's atmosphere.
The launch is one of three tests scheduled so far this year. SpaceX hopes eventually to act as a ferrying service for the international space station. The company has already successfully tested its Falcon 9 rocket and last month received the first commercial permit to bring a spacecraft back into Earth's atmosphere from orbit.
Musk is not the only millionaire with eyes on the stars. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Virgin's Richard Branson and Amazon's Jeff Bezos are all backing space programmes.