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Simonyi trains for second journey to space

Charles Simonyi. Image from his website

WASHINGTON (BNS): The seventh orbital client Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., will write history, when he will become the first space tourist to go to space for the second time. Simonyi has begun training for his second mission scheduled for March 26, 2009 at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City, Russia.

Simonyi earlier flew to the International Space Station as Space Adventures' fifth orbital space client in spring 2007. The first private explorer Simonyi will travel on board the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft with Expedition 19 crewmembers.

During his 12-day stay aboard the ISS, Simonyi will focus on research and educational outreach. Efforts will include conducting scientific experiments in space, taking pictures of the Earth and talking with students around the world via HAM Radio. Simonyi's passion for flight, engineering and space exploration inspired his second mission to space.

Recalling his experiences, Simonyi said that his first mission introduced him to the extraordinary experience of orbital spaceflight. “Space exploration is so important to humanity, that to have been able to participate in it, even in a very small way, was such a privilege. Returning to space for a second time is a great opportunity to put to use what I have learned,” Simonyi said. He hoped to use his return mission to inspire young people all over the world to pursue science and engineering and to continue communicate the idea that space will become more and more accessible.

Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures said that they were proud to assist Charles Simonyi in realising his second journey to the ISS; his mission is a true testimony to the reality of private space exploration. “Charles Simonyi's initiatives on board the ISS are a very important effort. As we progress, private space explorers will not only assist in educational and scientific research, but support the advancement of the space industry,” Anderson said.

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