Feeds

Fifth space tourist docks with the ISS

Word nerd in space

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The latest space tourist has reached the International Space Station. Billionaire Charles Simonyi docked with the ISS yesterday evening (GMT) after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 17:31 GMT on Saturday.

Hungarian-born Simonyi made his fortune at Microsoft, where he was the lead developer on Word and Excel. When he announced his plans to travel to the ISS last year, he said: "I might be the first nerd in space".

We're not sure he can claim that title, given the scientific background of many astronauts, but Simonyi is certainly the fifth non-astronaut to visit the ISS courtesy of the Russian space tourism programme. Previous visitors include Iranian-born businesswoman Anousheh Ansari and Californian financier and ex-space scientist Denis Tito.

Flights to the ISS cost around $25m bringing much-needed funding to the Russian space agency. Initially NASA objected to the practice, saying the presence of tourists on board the ISS would make life harder for both the professional astronauts and the mission controllers back on Earth.

Simonyi took with him a meal of roast quail and duck breast to be eaten on Thursday, Russian Cosmonaut Day. The BBC reports that the meal was selected for him by Martha Stewart. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.