KOROLYOV, Russia (1010 WINS) -- An American billionaire who paid $25 million for a 13-day trip to outer space returned to Earth on Saturday in a space capsule that also carried a cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut, making a soft landing on the Kazakh steppe.
The capsule carrying Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-born software engineer who helped develop Microsoft Word and Excel, touched down after a more than three-hour return trip from the orbital station, a spokesman said at Mission Control outside Moscow.
Simonyi looked ecstatic after rescuers removed him from the capsule, which lay askew on the bleak grassland. He smiled and grinned as he spoke with the support crew. He then bit enthusiastically into a green apple _ a traditional offering for space crews touching down in Kazakhstan, which is famous for the fruit.