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Mission Updates

You can also view the latest mission updates, photos, and videos on Charles Simonyi's mission website www.CharlesInSpace.com.

April 2007

Charles Simonyi  Returned to Earth After Completing Longest Duration Private Spaceflight

Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., successfully landed in the Kazakhstan steppes after a 14-day visit to the International Space Station.  Dr. Simonyi returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-9 with Expedition 14 crew members Michael Lopez-Alegria and Mikhail Tyurin, who both spent seven-months aboard the ISS [photo courtesy of Reuters].

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Fast Facts about Charles' Mission

Days in orbit: 13.75 (but flight spans over 15 different days)

Hours in orbit (from GMT): 13 days (April 8th-20th) + 6.5 hrs (April 7th) + 11.5 hrs (April 21st up to de-orbit burn) = 330 hrs

Distance traveled: 330 hrs * 17,236 mph/27,738 kph (average) = 5,687,880 miles / 9,153,540 km (“over 5M miles”)

Orbits of Earth (assuming average orbital period of 93 minutes): Approximately 213

Opportunities to see sunrises and sunsets: Approximately 213 of each
Ham Radio Session Successful

Students at Redmond High School in Washington spoke with Charles Simonyi via Ham Radio.  To listen to the radio session, go www.CharlesInSpace.com.
Charles Simonyi, Oleg Kotov and Fyoder Yurchiken successfully docked with the International Space Station.

Charles will spend the next 11 days aboard the ISS.  He will return to Earth with the current long duration crew members, Michael Lopez-Alegria and Sunita Williams.  You can view replays of the docking and hatch opening at www.CharlesInSpace.com.
Charles Simonyi, Successfully Launches Bound for the International Space Station

Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., and his crew successfully launched aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan bound for the International Space Station (ISS). Dr. Simonyi joins the Expedition 15 crew which includes Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov for his 13-day mission.  Read More>>
Soyuz Rocket Rollout

One of the most exciting events leading up to launch is the rollout of the Soyuz launch vehicle. Two days from now, the fully fueled rocket will launch the Soyuz TMA-10 crew into space.

Final Launch Preparations in Baikonur

Charles and crew are now in Baikonur, Kazakhstan participating in final flight preparations.  These activities include suit pressure checks, launch day press conference rehearsals and spacecraft fit-checks. The crew also participated in a traditional flag raising ceremony.
March 2007
Final Crew Examination and Moscow Cermonies

The Soyuz TMA -10 crew passed their final crew examination and participated in traditional crew ceremonies in Moscow.  These traditions include visits to Red Square and the tomb of Yuri Gagarin.

Zero-Gravity Training

During zero gravity training Charles practiced moving under zero-gravity conditions. He also practiced putting on his Sokol spacesuit and moving objects in weightlessness. His flight concluded with a traditional group photo which included the entire training staff.
ISS Simulation

Charles and Soyuz TMA-10 crew participated in an ISS simulation at Star City. This included photography training, and a simulated fire. During the fire simulation, Charles puts on a special gas mask which will protect him from the toxic atmosphere. Once everyone has there mask in place, the crew moves into the Soyuz simulator to simulate an emergency departure from the station.

February 2007

Barometric Chamber Training

Charles participated in barometric chamber training in order to simulate the physiological effects of drastic changes in altitude. Charles simulated an altitude of 21,000 ft (7km) for 40 minutes during his simulation. 

In order to prepare his body for the quick changes in altitude, Charles had to pre-breath oxygen for one hour prior to his training in order to purge the nitrogen from his blood.

Future Training and Mission Milestones: Scheduled Photos
Official ceremony on Red Square
March 22, 2007
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Final training examination for crew at GCTC, meeting with the President of RSCE March 19-20, 2007   Click here
Russian Intergovernmental Commission Approval (MVK) March 22, 2007   Click here
Crew Flight to Baikonur, Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan/Beginning of crew quarantine March 28, 2007  
Arrival ceremony in Baikonur, flags raising ceremony, meeting with the President of RSCE March 28, 2007  Click here
Soyuz TMA-10 tryout, Sokol suit pressure checks March 30, 2007  Click here
Russian State Commission official approval of the primary crew, press conference April 6, 2007  Click here
Launch of Soyuz TMA-10 (Yurchikhin, Kotov, Simonyi) April 7, 2007  
Docking of Soyuz TMA-10 with the International Space Station April 9, 2007  
Landing of Soyuz TMA-9 (Turin, Lopez-Alegria, Simonyi) April 20, 2007  
Crew returns to Star City, first welcome ceremony April 21, 2007  
Completed Training Milestones: Completed  
First aid kit September 2006
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Seat liner molding September 2006
Russian ISS segment November 2006  Click here
Inventory Management System November 2006   
Soyuz radio communications November 2006
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Soyuz life support November 2006
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Soyuz simulation November 2006   
Space food tasting November 2006 
Ham Radio training November 2006   
Spaceflight Clothing Introduction November 2006
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