Ex-Microsoft exec signs up for second trip to outer space

Ex-Microsoft software developer, astronaut and lets not forget, millionaire, Charles Simonyi, signed up today to take his second flight into space courtesy of private space explorations company, Space Adventures.

 Simonyi, who help develop Microsoft Word and Excel, will train with the Soyuz TMA-14 crew in preparation for a spring mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Simonyi last flew into space in 2007, a trip that reportedly cost him $25 million. No prices were disclosed about this flight. Dennis Tito was the world's first privately funded spaceflight participant in 2001.

Earlier this year Google co-founder Sergei Brin put down $5 million toward a flight to the international space station in 2011 also courtesy of Space Adventures.

Space Adventures last year opened for the first time the opportunity to train as a private space explorer alongside one of its orbital spaceflight candidates, and among professional astronauts.  The astronaut will be trained as a back-up to fly with famed game developer and son of former NASA astronaut, Richard Garriott, currently set to fly to the ISS this month. Computer game developer Garriott is paying at least $30 million to launch toward the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship according to Space Adventures, which brokered the flight with Russia's Federal Space Agency.

Speaking about why people want to even take part on space travel, an FAA executive this summer said such adventures were akin to scaling Mount Everest.

"There can be no question that climbing Mount Everest is a risky personal choice. So is riding a rocket into space,"said FAA Administrator Dr. George Nield. "Passengers will be riding a vessel packed with a volatile mix of carefully processed chemical ingredients, thousands of interdependent parts, and extremely sophisticated software. And they will be bound for an inhospitable environment far, far away from where they bought their tickets," Nield said. "Private human space flight is like climbing Mount Everest with a lot farther to fall." 

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