Charles not in charge of media attention

Charles Simonyi has been on the ISS for nearly three days now, and in space for nearly five, but, surprisingly, he has been overshadowed in many of the media reports about the flight. The Daily Telegraph notes that, in the days leading up to the launch, he was overshadowed by his friend, Martha Stewart, who helped select a gourmet meal that the ISS crew will enjoy tonight. The article adds that before Simonyi returns to Earth “he may have confirmed media predictions by proposing to Miss Stewart from space.”

And then there’s the prospect of Simonyi’s former boss taking a similar trip. According to media reports, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin said during a video linkup from the station, “Charles said that Bill Gates is also preparing to visit space… So the next time someone will be with Bill Gates. For me this is the biggest surprise of our flight.” (A article, citing Interfax, has a somewhat different version of the quote, but the gist remains the same.) The next tourist flight opportunity won’t come until late 2008, since seats on the next two Soyuz flights are already planned for use by Malaysian and South Korean guest cosmonauts. A Space Adventures spokesperson said that the company plans to announce its next customer for an ISS flight within the next eight weeks.

If you are curious about what Simonyi is doing on the ISS, his web site features updates, including video of Simonyi on the ISS. However, an editor’s note in the blog section notes that he is also busy replacing hard drives on computers on the ISS, and has thus been too busy to write new posts.

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