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Latest Space Tourist Docks At Space Station For Week Long Holiday

Charles Simonyi is now on board.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) April 09, 2007
A rocket bearing the world's fifth space tourist, US-Hungarian Charles Simonyi, and two Russian cosmonauts docked at the International Space Station (ISS) at 1910 GMT on Monday, the Russian space centre said. "The vessel docked as planned," a space centre spokesman told AFP by telephone from Koroliev, near Moscow.

Simonyi and the cosmonauts, Oleg Kotov and Fyodor Yurchikhin, entered the ISS an hour later.

Simonyi is scheduled to return to Earth on April 20 together with the current ISS team -- Russia's Mikhail Tyurin and American Miguel Lopez-Alegria -- while the two Russian cosmonauts will stay on for a 190-day shift in orbit.

The ISS occupants greeted the newcomers with tea and a hot meal after their two-day trip in the unheated Soyuz space capsule.

Simonyi, who made his fortune at Microsoft, is the fifth tourist to travel to the ISS, following the United States' Dennis Tito (2001) and Greg Olsen (2005), South Africa's Mark Shuttleworth (2002) and an American of Iranian origin, Anousheh Ansari (2006).

The voyage cost him 25 million dollars (19 million euros).

Space Adventures, the company that organised the trips, plans to expand its offerings next year to include a 100-million-dollar trip around the moon and a 100,000-dollar budget option: five minutes of sub-orbital space flight.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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