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Decision expected soon on next space tourist
Posted: Fri, May 17, 2002, 7:39 PM ET (2339 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) A decision on who will be the next space tourist #151; a former NASA official or a pop music star — is expected by the end of this month. Both *NSYNC band member Lance Bass and former NASA official Lori Garver are in Moscow for a final series of medical tests before a decision is made on who will fly on a Soyuz taxi flight to ISS in late October. A spokesperson for Bass confirmed reports that he underwent an outpatient medical procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat; Garver previously had surgery to remove her gallbladder after tests found a gallstone there. Neither person has yet garnered enough money to pay for the $20 million flight, according to a SPACE.com article. Both are trying to pay for the flight through sponsorships and are reportedly negotiating television deals. If neither person can raise the money or pass medical tests, it's possible no tourist will fly on the Soyuz mission, but an MSNBC article suggested that there may be other potential tourists candidates that could fill the seat. Although six months is ordinarily required for training for a Soyuz flight, NASA officials suggested that they would be open to allow a tourist with slightly less training time make the flight.
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