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Next tourist to visit space station in March

The Hungarian, who would be the fifth space tourist, will pay the Virginia-based company an estimated $20-25 mn for the trip.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 10:00 IST

The next space tourist is set to visit the international space station in March, officials with the company that brokered the trip said.

Charles Simonyi, a native of Hungary who made his fortune in computer software, is to launch on March 9 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, according to Space Adventures Ltd, which arranged the trip through Russia's space agency.

He would be the fifth space tourist to pay the Virginia-based company an estimated $20 million to $25 million for the privilege. The most recent, Texas businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, returned to Earth last month after a 10-day trip.

Simonyi is training for the eight-day trip in Star City, Russia.

Simonyi was born in Budapest and earned a doctorate in computer science at Stanford University. He worked at Xerox Corp, then Microsoft Corp, where he helped design the popular Word and Excel programs, before founding his own software engineering company.