Father of Word and Excel to try space flight

Charles Simonyi, one of the principal figures behind Microsoft Word and Excel, will try to be the next space tourist.

Space Adventures, the company that books tourists on Russian space flights to the International Space Station, will later this month announce Simonyi's training schedule and launch date, as well as discuss what exactly he will do up in space.

Simonyi was once romantically linked to Martha Stewart, so there's a slim chance he may try to see if it's possible to assemble a collection of monogrammed napkins from hotels in the 1930s in a zero-gravity environment.

The trips can cost several million dollars, require much physical training, and last about 10 days. So it's not the space bus yet, but in about two decades or so some believe that space tourism will reach a wider audience.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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