During a live interview on Russian state television, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin revealed that American billionaire and former Microsoft engineer Charles Simonyi aboard the International Space Station told him Microsoft's chairman is planning a space flight: "Charles said that Bill Gates is also preparing to visit space." Gates, the world's richest man with an estimated net worth of $25 billion, could presumably afford the ticket but to date has shown little inclination for high-risk endeavours.
Simonyi paid a U.S.-based company called Space Adventures $25 million for arranging his trip to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. Space Adventures cashes in on wealthy individuals' desire for adventure: for $102,000, the company will arrange for a sub-orbital space flight 62 miles above the earth and for $100 million, an expedition to the moon. Simonyi, the fifth tourist to travel to the International Space Station, is scheduled to return to earth on April 20th.
News source: InformationWeek