Inventor of Microsoft Word and Excel heading for Space Station

Charles Simonyi, a former highest-ranking developer at Microsoft, has booked a seat aboard a Russian rocket for a flight to the International Space Station. The trip to space will cost Simonyi $20 million.

Simonyi initially worked at Xerox where he created the first WYSIWYG text editor. He earned his real fortune over at Microsoft, where he was the chief architect and developer of Microsoft Word, Excel applications. He quit Microsoft in 2002 to co-found Intentional Software.

Space tourists pay to occupy a "taxi seat" aboard the flight as crews and vehicles are rotated every six months. They take off with a new two-person crew, spend a week at the space station orbiting 220 miles above Earth and then return with an outgoing crew.

Sources: Space Adventures | Charles Simonyi | Seattle Times | Reuters