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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Space Tourist's Return Put Off by a Day

APBillionaire space tourist Simonyi floating in the Harmony node of the International Space Station on Wednesday.
A billionaire American space tourist in the middle of his second stay aboard the international space station will return to Earth a day later than planned because of flooding at the landing site, Russian officials said Friday.

The Federal Space Agency said a Soyuz capsule carrying former Microsoft executive Charles Simonyi and two other crew members is now set to land in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Mikhail Polukhin, the chief of Russia's Aviation and Space Rescue Service, said the landing was postponed because the original landing site near the city of Arkalyk has been affected by spring flooding.

Polukhin said the new site was moved further south to an area about 135 kilometers northeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan.

Simonyi, 60, will return to Earth with U.S. astronaut Mike Fincke and cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov. Simonyi, who boarded the orbital station Saturday after a two-day trip from Earth, is the world's first two-time space tourist.

While returning from his first flight in 2007, Simonyi landed in the same area that has been chosen now, Polukhin said. "The area is well-explored and convenient," he added.

nThe U.S. company that has arranged for six tourists -- including Simonyi -- to fly in space said on Friday that it was staying open for business despite the economic crisis and a lack of confirmed flight opportunities, Reuters reported.

Space Adventures president Eric Anderson said in a conference call with reporters that his company would continue to prepare people for spaceflight on the chance that seats will free up on future Soyuz missions.

"The kind of person who has indicated an interest in going to space is a long-term thinker," Anderson said.