Computer Tycoon Descends from Space

April 21, 2007 02:18 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Software billionaire Charles Simonyi completes his mission to the International Space Station, a small step in the history of space tourism.

30 Second Summary

April 21, 2007, Kazakhstan––The space capsule carrying the software engineer behind Excel and Word made a soft landing on the Kazakh steppe. 

Fifty-two-year-old Simonyi is the world’s fifth space tourist. He paid around $25 million for the 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA–10 capsule carrying him lifted off from the Baikonur Spaceport at 1231 EST, April 7, 2007.

The computer tycoon's return was delayed a day, because of concerns that flooding in the landing area could hamper recovery of the capsule.

Simonyi’s close friend, the businesswoman and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart was present at the launch. There has been much media conjecture that the two are romantically involved. Stewart made her own contribution to the mission by choosing the crew’s menu for Cosmonauts’ Day, April 12.

Enthusiasts herald trips such as Simonyi’s as the next small step in mankind’s exploration of space: the age of the astro-tourist.


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