June 4, 2009

Founder Of Cirque du Soleil To Become Next Space Tourist

Guy Laliberte, the 49 year-old founder of the circus performance group Cirque du Soleil, is set to become Canada's first space tourist in September, BBC News reported.

Laliberte will travel on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) in a flight estimated to cost at least $25 million.

The Quebec-based billionaire will become the seventh private citizen to visit the ISS since April 2001.

Previous space tourists have spent from a week to 13 days aboard the space station.

Laliberte stated in several interviews over the years his desire to travel into space.

Other successful entrepreneurs such as California businessman Dennis Tito and American software executive Charles Simonyi have also taken multi-million dollar trips to the space station.

Simonyi took his second trip to the ISS in March, spending an estimated $60 million on both space voyages.

The Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil has grown into a global organization with $700 million in sales annually, amassing Laliberte a personal fortune estimated at $2.5 billion.

The company Space Adventures in Virginia organizes such flights for tourists wealthy enough to afford them.


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