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April 20, 2007 at 3:51 PM

Simonyi from space: Once is enough, work’s calling

AP

Charles Simonyi, before he headed into space. He is scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday.

Charles Simonyi’s been busy in space doing experiments — and searching for room in the International Space Station to store the books he brought up.

There may not be enough space (pardon the pun) to start the extraterrestrial library he envisioned, judging from a chat he had today with Tim Garrigan, the Seattle marketing consultant running the Charlesinspace.com Web site.

Simonyi’s comment:

This is a sore point, it’s not quite done yet. But it’s not positive, but it’s not negative. I still have to discuss with the Russian segment. There is no room in the American segment.’

Otherwise the trip has been a big success, Simonyi said. He believes he’s raised awareness of science and space travel, judging from the millions of visitors to his Web site and conversations he’s had with students online and via ham radio.

I think that was probably the most successful part of this mission. It’s really beyond anything I would have imagined, the success of the Web site and the enthusiasm of the feedback through the radio. I’m really grateful to the ham community for facilitating these exchanges.’

The experiments Simonyi conducted for various agencies were simple but successful, he said, adding that that’s good because he was able to free up the astronauts and cosmonauts to do more complicated tasks.

Asked by Garrigan if he’d like to make another trip to space, Simonyi said he didn’t think that would be possible, even though he’d like to take more advantage of his spaceflight training. One reason is he has to get back to his Bellevue software business.

“You know it takes a lot of time, not to mention the expense, and I have many other things to do now, with the company, Intentional Software corporation. We’ll have to work on that, redouble our efforts,” he said.

He’s scheduled to land Saturday.

Comments | More in | Topics: Billionaire techies

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