TIL Charles Simonyi was the first billionaire to go to space. Simonyi, a software architect and early Microsoft employee, paid a total of $60 million for two trips to the International Space Station. He entered orbit and spent a total of 4 weeks in space.

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Charles Simonyi is not just any employee, he was architect who designed the most successful software in history: Microsoft Office.


That’s real space travel – orbiting for weeks. What Bezos and Branson have done in my opinion barely qualifies as traveling to space. Still an accomplishment and all, but honestly I find it hard to believe there haven’t been more people rocketing to weightlessness.


What years?


TRUE STORY: I ended up at a party at Simonyi’s house in Seattle about 20 years ago, he was trying to woo a friend to join M$ and I was my friend’s +1. The party was interesting, we mostly just people watched, we were goofballs who very much did not belong. Eventually Simonyi came over to greet us and we started talking software development stuff, after a few minutes he disagreed with us on some philosophical aspects of development (he was utterly and completely wrong and out to lunch) and his mood soured quickly and he walked off, a few minutes later some large men informed us that it was time for us to leave and we were escorted out by the arm.


When he got back, did he say “I should’ve gone to the beach.”