US space tourist shrugs off 10 mln dollar price hike

Mar 05, 2009
US software architect and space tourist Charles Simonyi meets with press outside Moscow in Star City. Simonyi shrugged off a 10 million dollar price hike by Russia for his next space flight, saying space tourism was the way of the future.

American software tycoon Charles Simonyi on Thursday shrugged off a 10 million dollar price hike by Russia for his next space flight, saying space tourism was the way of the future.

Simonyi, one of the brains behind the rise of Microsoft, said the 35 million dollars (28 million euro) he is paying for his March 26 trip -- compared to the 25 million dollar bill he paid for a first trip in 2007 -- was worth it.

"It's money that is spent on space exploration.... Russia is the only country in the world which offers those services," Simonyi told journalists at the Star City training centre near Moscow ahead of his flight.

"I think space tourism is probably the only business model that is a viable business model for manned space flights, where you can actually make a profit," he added.

Simonyi is to spend 11 days on his trip from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome to the International Space Station, bumping back down to Earth on April 6.

Russia has announced it is to be the last flight by a paying space tourist, due to pressure on seats from its main space partner the United States and others.

Asked why he was making a second flight, Simonyi said he wanted to improve his skills.

While in space he plans to conduct experiments and communicate by radio with students on Earth.

"I think of this flight as a continuation of the first flight. When you do something and you learn a skill I think it's a great opportunity to use that skill, to be more efficient," he said.

Recently married to Swedish millionaire's daughter Lisa Persdotter after breaking from former partner Martha Stewart, Simonyi said he had renounced the idea of a third flight for the sake of his marriage.

"I decided to do this flight before I got engaged and me and my wife agreed that I would be able to fly just once more. So I cannot fly the third time. My wife is absolutely against it," he said.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Launch pad where rocket exploded back next year

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microbial 'signature' for sexual crimes

7 hours ago

Bacterial communities living on an individual's pubic hairs could be used as a microbial 'signature' to trace their involvement in sexual assault cases, according to a study published in the open access journal Investigative Ge ...

Brazil: Google fined in Petrobras probe

8 hours ago

A Brazilian court says it has fined Google around $200,000 for refusing to intercept emails needed in a corruption investigation at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Atari's 'E.T.' game joins Smithsonian collection

9 hours ago

One of the "E.T." Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage buried deep in the New Mexico desert has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.

Sony threatens to sue for publishing stolen emails

9 hours ago

A lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment is warning news organizations not to publish details of company files leaked by hackers in one of the largest digital breaches ever against an American company.

Microsoft builds support over Ireland email case

9 hours ago

Microsoft said Monday it had secured broad support from a coalition of influential technology and media firms as it seeks to challenge a US ruling ordering it to hand over emails stored on a server in Ireland.

Recommended for you

Preparing for an asteroid strike

3 hours ago

ESA and national disaster response offices recently rehearsed how to react if a threatening space rock is ever discovered to be on a collision course with Earth.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

blackle4ps3
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2009
They could probably build you a Mig 105 - 11B for that price. Have other experimental sub-space flyers in gallery at clubzone-australia
blackle4ps3
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2009
WOW Was in with Martha Stewart I love this guy,is he hiring,at around 30k yearly I'll load the desk with ideas & innovations not thought of by those in groups. I'm no long shot,as one can see from my movie plots listed in forum at clubzone.prefer no relocation & one year terms.I'm an individualist who web surfs alone.(this students thing surf that next)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.