7 April 2007
News - Tourism (Good)
Simonyi in Space
Fifth space tourist launches from Baikonur
by Carol Pinchefsky
by Carol Pinchefsky

Today, 58-year-old billionaire Charles Simonyi has become the fifth space tourist to pay for a trip to the International Space Station. He launched today from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in a Soyuz capsule for a thirteen-day adventure, along with two cosmonauts. Previous space tourists have included Dennis Tito and Anousheh Ansari.

The price tag has increased to $25 million. Because there are no competitors, there are no checks against other price increases. Still, Simonyi can afford it: he earned his fortune as a software programmer.

In this MSNBC article, Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures, the agents for all five journeys, said that wealthy people taking trips to space ultimately leads to more investment. "[The trip will]l never be $20,000 or $25,000 unless it starts out at $20 million or $25 million."

Simonyi will be bloggging about his experiences on the website CharlesInSpace .

As with the previous four space tourists, Simonyi is taking the opportunity to conduct experiments. One experiment involves measuring radiation levels.
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Carol Pinchefsky 7 April 2007
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