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Bass moves closer to flight deal, NASA questions training
Posted: Sat, Jul 20, 2002, 1:52 PM ET (1752 GMT)
Lance Bass (MirCorp) Pop star and would-be space tourist Lance Bass has reached an agreement in principle to fly on the October Soyuz taxi mission, although NASA has asked Russia several questions about his training. According to a CNN report, Bass and the organizations coordinating his spaceflight effort have reached a deal with the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos that would allow Bass to fly in October. The stumbling block had been funding; according to CNN, the TV network MTV will provide funding in exchange for airing a series about the flight and the training for it. Such a deal has not been officially confirmed by any of the parties, and Rosaviakosmos is reportedly waiting to formally announce it until it receives a down payment on the $20-million cost of the flight. Earlier in the week Rosaviakosmos submitted a letter to the other ISS international partners, including Bass on the crew of the Soyuz flight along with Russian commander Sergei Zalyotin and Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne. Reuters reported late Friday that NASA has several concerns about including Bass on the flight, such as his training regime, fluency in Russian, and what he plans to do while on the station.
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