Ten years ago, just ahead of a trip into space, Mark Shuttleworth took out an insurance policy on his reproductive future. “I put a couple swimmers on ice,” he says. “There was going to be a gamma ray source about a foot from my balls under my seat on the Soyuz. So I made a deposit in a secret location before I flew.”
Shuttleworth’s 10-day journey into space in 2002 on a Russian rocket, including a stay on the International Space Station, cost him $20 million. Only 28 at the time, the trip into orbit was a celebration for the South African, who had made about $600 million selling his Internet security company, Thawte, to Verisign. Afterward he expanded his personal fortune with wise investments in Africa and generally lived, as he puts it, like a “gazillionaire bachelor astronaut” should.