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10 Apr, 2007 13:41

Charles Simonyi already on ISS

Charles Simonyi already on ISS

Billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi and Russian cosmonauts have boarded the International Space Station, after a two-day trip from Earth. The Soyuz mission blasted off from the Baikonour space-launch centre in Kazakhstan.

The two-day route to the ISS on the Souyz rocket is described as the hardest part by those who have done it. But now it is over. After successful docking the cheered spacemen entered the ISS. And this time they’ve brought something special to the orbit – symbolic of Sochi 2014 Olympic bid.

“They took several t-shirts, flags and banners. That is some support for our bid. I bet no-one of our competitors for the Olympics have the support like that – from the space,” jokes Vyacheslav Fetisov, head of the Russian Federal Sports Committee.

But that’s not the only treat the new guests to the ISS brought with them. After settling down, the space clad group will have a gourmet dinner – courtesy of a woman you wouldn’t expect to see at Moscow's Mission Control Centre. An American TV celebrity Martha Stewart came to see off her friend, Charles Simonyi.

In a live interview to Russia Today Miss Stewart spoke about what’s on the orbital menu.

“Well, Charles asked me to prepare a gourmand feast for the entire crew. Charles loves good food, he is a bon vivant in his way, although he doesn’t eat any fish. I tried to do the meal myself, but I’m not approved by either NASO of the Russian government. So Alain Ducasse was approved by the Russians, his food is delicious, and – thank you, Alain, for providing a really spectacular meal. And I actually chose the dishes,” Mrs Stewart said.

To read the full version of the interview with Martha Stewart, please follow the link below.


And so, followed by cheers both on Earth and in the orbit, the 15th space mission has kicked off.

Charles Simonyi paid at least $US 25 MLN for this ticket to the skies. But it will not be just a leisure trip for him. He trained for six months, and now he will conduct several medical experiments before flying back to Earth in 8 days.