My father-in-law will be happy. He knew Charles father when he was a professor at the University of Budapest.
Simonyi is the second Hungarian astronaut ever to enter space. Hungarian cosmonaut Bertalan Farkas, who was also at the news conference, spent almost eight days in orbit in 1980.
Simonyi left Hungary as a teenager in 1966, first living in Denmark before moving to the U.S. state of California in 1968. He obtained U.S. citizenship in the 1980s.
"Although I am known as Charles Simonyi, I was born here in Hungary as Simonyi Karoly," he said. "I have never forgotten about Hungary, where I came from; the memories of my mother country are kept deep in my heart."