Status Report

Space Adventures’ Orbital Client, Charles Simonyi, to Perform Research on the ISS for the Hungarian Space Office

By SpaceRef Editor
April 4, 2007
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Vienna, Va. – April 4, 2007 — Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., has agreed to contribute to research on behalf of the Hungarian Space Office (HSO) in cooperation with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) during his 10-day stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Dr. Simonyi is scheduled to launch on April 7 onboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the ISS.  He will be joining the Expedition 15 crew which includes Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov. “I am really looking forward to my spaceflight and I am particularly pleased to participate in the research being done by the HSO in collaboration with FSA.  It is my hope that through this research project, we will be one step closer to future human permanence in space,” said Dr. Simonyi. In cooperation with the HSO and the FSA, Dr. Simonyi will be operating a Pille dosimeter system, which will measure the amount of radiation that he is exposed to while onboard the ISS.  It will also help to generate a highly accurate map of the radiation environment aboard the space station. 

Dr. Simonyi successfully completed training on manipulation with intellectual dosimetric equipment at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre located in Star City, Russia, and has been certified as the cosmonaut-operator for work with this equipment.

Astronauts and cosmonauts living and working on the ISS are permanently exposed to galactic and solar cosmic radiation, which may have potential long-term health effects.  ISS dose measurements of radiation have become increasingly important as baseline data for an accurate health risk estimate.  The results of the project will be helpful for designing better spacecraft radiation shielding for future ISS crews.

Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures, the company which organized the spaceflights for the world’s first and only private space explorers, said, “Charles believes in innovation, in exploration, in the revolution and progress of thought, in making that which is available to the few, accessible by the many, and in contributing to scientific research, including the HSO/FSA project, which will inevitably lead to a day when we become a space faring nation.”

Dr. Simonyi reveals much more about this project on his Web site, where he has been personally documenting his training since October 2006.  While onboard the ISS, Dr. Simonyi will continue to share his daily experiences on through the blog and “Ask Charles” sections.  Additionally, in the “Kids’ Space” section, children of all ages will be able to listen in on his contacts with schools across the United States, a program made possible by Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). 

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev.  For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.