Feeds

Ex-Microsoft man is next space tourist

First 'nerd' in space, he says

Security for virtualized datacentres

The man who led the development of Microsoft's Word and Excel programs is about to be sent into space.

This is not, as you might surmise, a one way trip paid for by hacked-off accountants and people who looked like they "might be writing a letter", but a voluntary trip he's paying for himself.

In fact, Charles Simonyi, 58, is set to become the 450th person in space, and the fifth amateur cosmonaut to fly to the International Space Station (ISS). He also claims to be the first nerd heading for orbit.

He is slated to take off on 9 March, 2007, provided he completes his training and passes all the medical tests.

Simonyi told the BBC that he had three goals: "One of them is to advance civilian spaceflight, the second to assist space station research, and the third to involve kids in space sciences," he said.

He says he plans to learn Russian as part of his preparation, and will also bone up on the workings of the rocket that will take him to the space station.

"Learning about the systems is part of my engineering curiosity and makes the whole experience so much more interesting when I understand exactly what is going on and, for example, why the flight is safe," he explained.

After the eight minute journey to orbit, on board a Russian Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonaur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the software engineer will spend two days travelling to the ISS. He'll spend eight days on board before returning to Earth.

As with other high profile space tourists, Simonyi has organised his trip through Space Adventures. The ticket to the ISS is thought to cost between $20m and $25m. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.