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Bass wins approval from ISS partners
Posted: Wed, Aug 28, 2002, 10:01 AM ET (1401 GMT)
Lance Bass (MirCorp) A multinational ISS review panel has approved the inclusion of pop star and would-be space tourist Lance Bass on an October Soyuz taxi flight, although Bass's backers have still not paid for his seat on the mission. The Multilateral Crew Operations Panel (MCOP), a group that reviews crews for flights to the station, concluded Tuesday that Bass meets the criteria they previously set out for non-professional visitors to the station. The announcement came while Bass and his crewmates, Sergei Zalyotin and Frank DeWinne, were training in Houston for the flight. The three are scheduled to participate in a NASA press conference on Thursday afternoon; Bass is also slated to take part in a webcast later that day that will feature students from a local elementary school. Despite the MCOPs approval, Bass's place on the flight remains uncertain as he has yet to pay Rosaviakosmos for the flight. Russian officials said Tuesday that they "would take a radical decision any time when their patience was over," according to an RIA Novosti article. At the same time, though, they said that they reserved the right to allow him to return to Russia and continue training even if he has not paid.
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