Space Tourist Flies on Second Trip to International Space SationWorld | March 26, 2009, Thursday // 18:12| views
The software tycoon, Charles Simonyi, who has paid USD 35 M for his trip, will be the last space tourist for the foreseeable future. Photo by BGNES
60-year-old US billionaire, Charles Simonyi, is the first space tourist to make the trip to the International Space Station (ISS) twice.
A Russian Soyuz rocket has blasted off Thursday from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome to ferry a three-member crew to the ISS, the BBC reported.
The software tycoon, who has paid USD 35 M for his trip, will be the last tourist for the foreseeable future. During his 13-day mission, he will help with research projects and take part in live broadcasts with schools.
Expedition 19 to the ISS also includes Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and US astronaut Michael Barratt who will form part of a new six-member crew aboard the ISS. Until now only three astronauts lived on the station at any one time. Doubling the number will allow more scientific research to be carried out, but it will also mean there will be less room for visitors.