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Russian space tourist may not fly
Posted: Wed, Aug 18, 2004, 9:37 PM ET (0137 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) Efforts by a Russian businessman to fly on a Soyuz flight to the ISS this fall are on the verge of failure, Interfax reported Wednesday. Sergei Polonsky, a Russian millionaire, has been negotiating for a seat on the October Soyuz flight after a prospective American space tourist, Greg Olsen, was dropped from a Soyuz flight for medical reasons. Polonsky has reportedly paid several million dollars already for the flight, and both he and the Russian Federal Space Agency have reached an unspecified agreement on the final price. However, negotiations have stumbled on issues of a refund should the flight be cancelled "for objective reasons." Should no deal be reached, a professional Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Shargin, is expected to fill the third seat on the October 9 mission. A final decision is expected on Thursday.
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