First clown in space

Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberte has become the "first clown to go into orbit". He paid $35m (£22m) for his ticket.

Laliberté, 50, the Canadian billionaire was accompanied in the Soyuz TM-16 spacecraft by Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev and US astronaut Jeffrey Williams.

He says he will make the ISS astronauts laugh during his 12-day stay, and produce a web event that highlights the issue of clean water for all.

"I'm an artistic person and a creator. I'm not a scientific. I'm not an engineer," he said.

"Life has given me some qualities, some assets and I have built up a team of very creative people around the world."

He has a 95% stake in Cirque du Soleil, a circus arts and theatre performance company that turned 25 this year.

The entertainment tycoon has said he will try to persuade his fellow spacemen to don red clown noses.

Laliberté may be one of the last private visitors to the space station for several years as Nasa retires its shuttle programme and turns to the Russian space agency to ferry US astronauts to the orbiting lab, crowding out places for tourists.

Via - BBC News

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