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'Nerd' outlines space ambitions 
20/01/2001
Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi, who led the development of Microsoft's Word and Excel, will blast off onboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on 09 March 2007. On completion of training, Dr Simonyi will become the fifth amateur cosmonaut and 450th person in space. However, he believes on at least one count his trip may be unique: "I might be the first nerd in space," he said. Essential reading Dr Simonyi, now based in the US, will lift-off from Baikonaur in Kazakhstan with the fifteenth ISS crew in March next year. Like those before him, Dr Simonyi's $20-25 million dollar trip has been arranged by US-based Space Adventures. After an exhilarating eight minute ride to escape the Earth's atmosphere, Dr Simonyi and the two Russian crew members will spend two days reaching the ISS. 
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