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Polish entrepreneur bidding to be next space tourist
Posted: Fri, Feb 22, 2002, 10:25 AM ET (1525 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) A Polish entrepreneur said Thursday that he was interested in flying to the International Space Station as the next commercial space tourist, while Russia officials deflated earlier claims that an American pop star would fly to the station as early as this November. Russian officials said that Leszek Czarnecki was in negotiations to become the third commercial space tourist in a deal being arranged by space tourism company Space Adventures. Czarnecki founded equipment leasing company Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy, which he sold to a French firm last year for $140 million. Czarnecki confirmed that he is a candidate to be a space tourist, but called the Russian announcement premature, and added he was not necessarily interested in flying in November. A spokesman for the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos also said that Lance Bass, a member of the pop group *NSYNC, would not necessarily fly on the November Soyuz taxi flight. The spokesman claimed that MirCorp, the company that announced it was arranging the flight, had no right to sell seats on those flights. MirCorp officials had acknowledged in their statement Wednesday that there could be other possible candidates for the flight being arranged by other companies.
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