Space tourist Charles Simonyi has undergone last minute checks before blasting off for the International Space Station on Saturday. The journey will take about thirteen days in all, eleven of which he will spend on the station itself. Travelling with him on the Soyuz spaceship, will be two Russian cosmonauts.
But they will stay in orbit for six months, replacing two of its current occupants, who will return with Simonyi on his voyage back to earth. Simonyi, one of the founding fathers of Microsoft, had to pay 25 million US dollars for the trip. Afterwards, he’ll be the world’s fifth space tourist and the first billionaire in space.
Simonyi’s brother Tamas and Lifestyle Queen Martha Stewart will be among guests invited to watch lift off on Saturday. Stewart has helped choose the menu for the dinner the space travellers will enjoy on Russia’s Cosmonauts Day on April 12.