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December 8, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Museum of Flight to host Soyuz reentry vehicle

A Soyuz reentry module that brought "space tourist" Charles Simonyi of Medina back from a 2009 Russian-American space mission rests on the central Kazakhstan plain where it landed safely. Simonyi has acquired the reentry module and will provide it to Seattle’s Museum of Flight on a long-term loan. (Photo by Maxim Marmur / Space Adventures)

You wouldn’t expect a Russian space vehicle to land in Seattle, but one is headed our way.

Charles Simonyi, Medina software innovator, philanthropist and two-time space tourist, today announced that the Soyuz reentry module that safely carried him back from a 2009 joint Russian-American space mission will be placed in Seattle’s Museum of Flight on a long-term loan.

Simonyi made the announcement at the museum, which this week named its $12 million space gallery in his honor.

The reentry vehicle and the gallery’s main attraction, a NASA plywood shuttle trainer used by American space-shuttle crews, are expected to be in place by the middle of next year.

Simonyi acquired the reentry module for an undisclosed price through Space Adventures, which arranges spaceflights by paying passengers.  Published reports indicate Simonyi paid a total of about $60 million to travel on space missions in 2007 and 2009.

Simonyi described the reentry module as roughly the size of a subcompact car. He said the Museum of Flight “provides a unique context where it can be properly displayed and properly cared for — and of course it is a fascinating artifact that people of all ages will enjoy and be inspired by.”

Comments | More in General news | Topics: flight, museum, simonyi

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