Conquering the moon, Greek style
Nik Halik wants to be the first Greek to walk on the moon. Here he shares with Neos Kosmos his dreams of outer space
As a child growing up in Melbourne's Airport West, Nik Halik (Halikopoulos) read Herge's Destination Moon and dreamed of walking on the lunar surface, just like Tintin.
Now Nik told Neos Kosmos that he could make it to the international space station as early as October and if that happens, his next goal is to walk on the moon. That would cost $100 million.
In any case Nik hopes to be the first Greek civilian to go to space and even to the moon.
"If I don't get there alive, in my will I have demanded that my ashes are sent to moon" he told Neos Kosmos.
Nik has climbed the highest peaks, explored the ocean floor, chased the wildest storms - he loves a thrill and has the resources to chase them. That's why this multimillionaire is dubbed "the thrillionaire".
"Firstly, I wasn't born rich, I was born rich with potential," Nik said.
A talented musician, at 14 Nik was teaching guitar; by 17 he'd saved $30,000 dollars in tuition fees. An astute investor, he is now a millionaire many times over, giving him the freedom to chase his wildest dreams.
Nik says the most thrilling thing he has done was diving down to the Titanic.
"It was a time capsule, you know, 1912, and at times it was very, very emotional - the luggage, the suitcases, the dreams of all the immigrants on board. The majesty of the ship, the grandeur of it - it was amazing," Nik said.
Deep lows and grand highs - if it's a rush he'll do it. And now, the thrill of thrills: Nik is set to be the first Greek Australian civilian to enter space. He says it's been a childhood dream since age four.
"You know, I saw re-runs of Neil Armstrong on the moon and at age four I proclaimed I wanted to become an astronaut," Nik said.
Space travel is easily the most expensive hobby on earth. Nik's flight will cost him $30million for no guaranteed return. At any time, Nik could fail a medical, or one of his many survival tests, and if that were to happen, there is no refund.
Don't call him a space tourist - this is real astronaut training. Take the centrifuge for example - Nik is regularly put into the machine and his body subjected to G-forces, which are just shy of fatal.
Nik could make it to the international space station as early as October and if that happens, his next goal is to walk on the moon. That would cost $100 million.
His biggest tip - attack life, you never know when it will end.
"I don't fear death, but I want to spend as much time here as possible," Nik said.
Even if he does vacate earlier than expected, Nik Halik will still get to the moon.
"In my will I've actually paid an American company to rocket my remains, my ashes, they will be jetted to the surface of the moon to remain there forever," he said.
The quest for control surely comes from his earliest years, growing up in Melbourne in a "very dysfunctional" family. Dad was a truck driver, his mum worked for Toyota; both were Greek immigrants - the family name is Halikopoulos - working 16 hour days to provide for their kids, four in total, Nik being the youngest and sickliest. He had allergies and chronic asthma.
"For the first 10 years of my life I was medically confined to my bedroom," he recalls, "I was a pretty sick child".
His relationship with his mother seems to have been closer than the one with his dad. She died in 1993.
"My mother always knew that I was different," he says with obvious affection.
"Like Luke Skywalker, you know? 'The Force is strong in this one!' So she really believed in me."
Like his adult self, eight-year-old Nik set out to control his life, looking from his sickbed to the wide world beyond.
"I don't believe in 'luck'," he says. "I don't believe in 'wish', I don't believe in 'hope'. They're the three most disempowering words in the world. You create your own destiny, you create your own fortune. You create your own happiness. You know who subscribes to luck, wish and hope? Poor people. Because they're always praying to something else, outside their control. I want to be in control."
Meanwhile he lives his life, travelling eight months of the year, working on his many businesses - having "a single source of income" is a mistake, he says. And he loves warm weather.
"I'm Mediterranean, I'm not genetically designed for winter," and follows the sun, with homes in the Greek islands, Los Angeles, Morocco and Australia. He sleeps six hours a night, every night, including weekends.
He took part in the Greek Power Summit last year, an invitation-only event where the global elite got together to try and help the Greek government. He may be thinking of getting into politics though his current Big Project is a Hollywood script called The Last Palikari. Above all, he goes his own way.
"Disconnect yourself!" he urges.
"Why be subservient to the system? Why allow the system to define your reality? Because, at the end of the day, it's the system's opinion. It should not be your reality.
"I'm not genetically different to any person," says this odd, compelling man. "But I knew the answer. I knew exactly what I wanted, and I've moved the universe - I've bent the universe to my will. You know what I mean?"
- Register Now
- Paedophilia charge for Greek Australian
- More Greeks calling Australia home
- Greek Adelaide church in hot water again
- Golden Dawn's Australian aspirations uncovered
- Marxist reporter won praise for his work
- ND and SYRIZA in Golden Dawn row
- Man sues Qatar over drinks car accident
- AFP show support for Cyprus
- Sixth place for Alcohol is Free
- Bank of Sydney celebrates Marrickville branch
- 8 May 2013 | 12 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 7 Votes
- 30 Apr 2013 | 6 Votes
More from this Section
- Marxist reporter won praise for his work
- Eurovision 2013: The kitsch and the high notes
- Myth versus reality: Athens during the peak of the crisis
- The Constantinople spirit
- The outfit says it all
- Unravelling Greece's crisis
- Crossing into the unknown
- Tall tales
- Paying tribute to old masters' paintings
- The dictatorship
The 2013-14 program provides 128,550 places for skilled migrants; 60,885 places for family migration and 565 places for special cases
The Spanish coach also brings with him assistant Pau Marti to join Michael Valkanis
The government issued civil mobilisation papers to some 88,000 teachers who face arrest and possible dismissal if they fail to turn up for work this week
Despite one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, Greeks won't consider labour jobs primarily staffed by migrants
The Australian Embassy in Athens marked Anzac Day by laying wreaths at the Australian Memorial Moudros Harbour
University Entrance Exams begin today after Greek teachers call off strike
Round six of Victorian Premier League this weekend brings new coach for Oakleigh Cannons
Round seven of NSW League Two preview
Greece finishes up in sixth place at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Denmark taking the top gong.
Troika could be taken to court for not complying with their own laws
Two people are in intensive care and another 11 are being treated for minor injuries after an explosion in a taverna on the island of Salamina, off the coast of Piraeus
Sentences between 25 and six years were given to 16 men found guilty of involvement in an ambush against police officers in Zoniana
The actor who immortalised Zorba the Greek - Anthony Quinn - has put his Greek and Roman antiques up for sale
A rush of withdrawals would put additional strain on the banks that Cyprus can hardly afford at the moment
Coach Tony Popovic has repeatedly stressed the Wanderers' need to continue to improve next season
Greek food stores and traders at meat markets were fined for selling sub-standard products
A lecture on Ancient Greek jewellery 'Mycenaean to Hellenistic' will be on this Wednesday at the Greek Community Centre in South Brisbane
At the annual St. Constantine and St. Helen's day, Kastellorizian Association will present its 2013 VCE Recognition Award