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Interesting Article: Software Pioneer Signs To Become Fifth Space Tourist

By UncleRob ·
Interesting Article: Software Pioneer Signs To Become Fifth Space Tourist
(by Staff Writers Vienna VA (SPX) Apr 05, 2006)

...Software developer Charles Simonyi is now training to become the next paying visitor to the International Space Station. Space Adventures Ltd. said late Monday it has contracted with Charles Simonyi for a future flight to the International Space Station. The company, which has organized previous flights to the station for entrepreneurs and private space passengers Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth and Greg Olsen, said Simonyi already has completed his preliminary training and medical examinations as part of the program's qualification process.

Simonyi, 57, was born in Hungary and moved to the United States in 1968 to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Microsoft in 1981, and oversaw development of two of the company's most popular software products: Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. In 2002, he co-founded his own firm, Intentional Software, in Bellvue, Wash., and serves as its president and chief executive officer.

"I have always dreamed of the wonder of spaceflight and the exploration of space has always inspired me," Simonyi said. "I am very much in favor of commercial space travel, which promises to advance technology just like commercial aviation did many years ago."

Space Adventures organizes spaceflights under agreement with Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and with Energia, a private Russian rocket and space firm. Earlier this year, Daisuke ("Dice-K") Enomoto began cosmonaut preparations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for his planned expedition to the ISS next September.

"Mr. Simonyi is a true visionary, one of the leading technology entrepreneurs in the world," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. "He is also a seasoned pilot and very knowledgeable about aerospace technology and aviation."

The original article was found on SpaceDaily Express' website.

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