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Intergalactic Getaways

$20 Million Vacations on the International Space Station

— April 6, 2006 — World
Former Microsoft programmer Dr. Charles Simonyi has signed up for a holiday on the International Space Station.

The 51-year-old programmer, who was instrumental in the creation of Microsoft’s Word and Excel packages, has handed over $20 million for the trip and has begun training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City in Kazakhstan ready for launching in September.

“Like with any long-term plan, I had to make reservations,” said Dr Simonyi, who is currently head of development firm Intentional Software.
Trend Themes
1. Space Tourism - The trend of space tourism continues to emerge, creating opportunities for disruptive innovation in the travel and hospitality industries.
2. Private Space Exploration - The trend of private space exploration is filling gaps left by government-funded programs and opening up opportunities for innovation in space technology.
3. Astronaut Training Programs - As more individuals seek to experience space travel, there is a growing trend in the development of astronaut training programs, offering potential disruptive innovation opportunities in education and training industries.
Industry Implications
1. Travel and Hospitality - With the emergence of space tourism, the travel and hospitality industry can explore innovative ways to cater to this new market.
2. Space Technology - As private space exploration becomes more prevalent, the space technology industry has opportunities to innovate and create new technologies for space exploration.
3. Education and Training - The growth of astronaut training programs presents opportunities for innovation in education and training, particularly in the areas of virtual and augmented reality.
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