Credit: NASA

Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-American software architect who started and led Microsoft's applications group, where he built the first versions of Microsoft Office. He co-founded and led Intentional Software which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Simonyi was born in Budapest, Hungary after which he moved to the USA in 1968 to study. In 2006, Simonyi expressed interest in becoming a space tourist and signed agreements with the space tourism company, Space Adventures, for a ten-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). For this first spaceflight, he paid $20 million. In April 2007, aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, he became the fifth space tourist and the second Hungarian in space. In March 2009, aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 spaecraft, he made a second trip to the International Space Station (ISS). All together, Simonyi spent more than 26 days in space.

Astronaut info

Country: USAUSA Hungary/USA
Born: September 10, 1948
  • Software architect
Space missions:
  • Soyuz TMA-10 (2007)
  • Soyuz TMA-14 (2009)
Spacewalks 0
Time in space 26d 14h 27m
Website: /

Space missions overview

Mission Date launch Rocket Launch base Orbit Spacecraft Title Patch Duration
Soyuz TMA-10 07/04/2007 Soyuz-FG Baikonur (Kazachstan) 585 km Soyuz-TMA Tourist Inspiration4 13 days 19 hours
Charles Simonyi started his cosmonaut training for his first spaceflight at Star City in September 2006. On April 7, 2007 Charles Simonyi went to space on board the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft. He shared his first trip to the International Space Station (ISS) with two Russian cosmonauts. Soyuz TMA-10 docked to the ISS on April 9, 2007 following two days of free flight. Its two Russian crew members remained on the station until the spacecraft's return to Earth in October 2007. During his stay at the ISS, Simonyi performed scientific experiments and communicated via amateur radio with high school students. Charles Simonyi returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-9 spacerfat. His expected return on April 20, 2007 was delayed by one day due to 'boggy ground'. He returned to Earth a day later along with an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut.
Soyuz TMA-14 26/03/2003 Soyuz-FG Baikonur (Kazachstan) 580 km Soyuz-TMA Tourist Inspiration4 12 days 19 hours
In October 2008, Charles Simonyi booked a second trip to the ISS through Space Adventures on board Russian Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft. He returned to space a second time on March 26, 2009. Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TMA-14 docked to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 28, 2009. Simonyi returned to Earth and landed in Kazachstan on April 8, 2009 alog with the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov and the American astronaut Michael Fincke.


Charles Simonyi

Images: Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.