Feeds

Ex-Microsoft man is next space tourist

First 'nerd' in space, he says

A new approach to endpoint data protection

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?