Gulf News

US space tourist ‘blown away’ by trip to internatio­nal station

Simonyi says station ‘looked like a theatre production’

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US space tourist Charles Simonyi said he was “blown away” by his trip to the Internatio­nal Space Station, while astronaut Michael LopezAlger­ia said he was ready to go home after nearly seven months on the orbiting outpost.

In a news conference from space on Tuesday, the software billionair­e said the station looked like a theatre production when he and two Russian cosmonauts arrived aboard a Russian spacecraft the day before.

Very, very dramatic

“It is amazing how it appears from the blackness of the sky,” Simonyi said. “It was very, very dramatic. It was like a big stage set, a fantastic production of some incredible opera or modern play.” “That’s what I was referring to when I said I was blown away,” he said.

Simonyi, 58, described the inside of the station in terms his friend, lifestyle maven Martha Stewart, would have appreciate­d.

“It is a cozy place,” said Simonyi, who was surrounded by five fellow crew members while taking questions from reporters at several Nasa centres. “It is full of stuff, as you see, it’s full of knickknack­s just like a home.”

Stewart attended Simonyi’s launch from Kazakhstan and selected a gourmet meal for him to carry to the station.

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