Former Microsoft Developer Passes Medical Exam, One Step Closer to Spaceflight

 

FormerMicrosoft developer Charles Simonyi is one step closer to achieving his dreamof visiting the International Space Station after a Russian medical reviewboard recently green-lighted him for spaceflight, the orbital tourism companySpace Adventures announced last Thursday.

The medicalreview board of the Russian Federation, calledthe Government Medical Commission (GMK), convened on Aug. 8 to review Simonyi'sgeneral medical condition and fitness.

A date forSimonyi's launch has not been announced yet, but it will come after the plannedSeptember launch of Japanese entrepreneur Daisuke Enomoto,who is currently trainingfor his trip to the ISS with the Expedition 14 astronaut crew.

"I'mlooking forward to continue to work with the medical team during my trainingperiod, and, of course, looking forward to the incredible experience that I'llbe training for," Simonyi said.

The58-year-old American and co-founder of Intentional Software Corp. will rideaboard a Russian-built Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS, where he will spend eightdays.

EricAnderson, the president and CEO of Space Adventures president, said thatSimonyi has already started some training for his mission.

"He'snot in full fleshed cosmonaut training yet, although he's been approved for alltraining and flight," Anderson toldSPACE.com.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Simonyi joined Microsoft in 1981, where he served asdirector of application development, chief architect and ultimatelydistinguished engineer, according to his corporate profile. He studiedengineering mathematics at the University of California at Berkley before earning a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University. Simonyi co-founded Intentional Software Corp. with Gregor Kiczalesin 2002.

SpaceAdventures has brokered ISS-bound flights for American businessmen Dennis Tito and GregoryOlsen, South African Internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworthand most recently Enomoto. Each of those private spacefarers paid a reported$20 million for a 10-day spaceflight, eight of which are spent inside the spacestation.

SpaceAdventures also recently announced plans for $100 million trips around the Moon, andspacewalksfor wealthy space tourists prepared to shell out an additional $15 milliondollars on top of their $20 million dollar space ticket.

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.