Will Ansari fly before Simonyi?

The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Monday that Anousheh Ansari might fly to the ISS before Charles Simonyi, the ex-Microsoft developer who signed a contract with Space Adventures last month. According to a Roskosmos official cited in the article, Simonyi’s plans to fly in spring 2007 may change because of “some recent developments, related to his business.” Ansari officially signed a contract last week as the backup to this fall’s flight of Daisuke “Dice-K” Enomoto, with the implication that she would get a seat on a later mission to the ISS. Ansari is also funding the development of a suborbital vehicle, the Explorer, being built in Russia; the article said that in addition to sites in the UAE and Singapore, the Explorer will also fly from an unidentified “airdrome” in the US.

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