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Cirque founder confirmed as next space tourist
Posted: Thu, Jun 4, 2009, 10:45 PM ET (0245 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) The founder of the performance company Cirque du Soleil confirmed Thursday that he will fly to the International Space Station later this year in a bid to raise awareness about the availability of clean water. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Guy Laliberté said he will fly on the next Soyuz taxi flight to the ISS, Soyuz TMA-16, launching on September 30 with Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams. Laliberté said the flight would coincide with his 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil. The "Poetic Space Mission" will feature poetry and other efforts to raise awareness for water-related issues on behalf of his One Drop Foundation. A native of Montreal, Laliberté is getting assistance for his flight from the Canadian Space Agency. Laliberté will be the seventh space tourist, and the first from Canada, to fly to the ISS, dating back to 2001.
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