Traveler, Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., has agreed to conduct a series of tests on behalf of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
(JAXA) during his 10-day stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Dr. Simonyi is scheduled to launch on April 7 onboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the
ISS. He will be joining the Expedition 15 crew which includes Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg
"As the world’s fifth space tourist I think I have an obligation to assist with space station research and to participate in experiments on behalf of
international space agencies,” said Dr. Simonyi. “I look forward to supporting JAXA’s study and contributing to the development of high
definition technology in space.”
In an agreement with JAXA, Dr. Simonyi will conduct a series of tests on several high definition camcorders currently onboard the ISS. High
definition video imagery from the ISS has multiple research and engineering applications, however due to the elevated radiation environment of
the ISS, the charged couple devices (CCD) in high definition video camcorders degrade rather quickly.
Studies are currently underway to understand which high definition camera components hold up the longest in the environment of space. The
footage taken by Dr. Simonyi will be analyzed once back on Earth to determine the degradation of each camera’s
“We, at Space Adventures, commend Charles for his commitment to the advancement of technology and science,” said Eric Anderson, president
and CEO of Space Adventures. “Just as Charles was a leader in the advent of the age of information, software and the computer, it is quite fitting
that he is a pioneer of private spaceflight as well.”
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