[ISN] Space tourist lifts off

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Apr 25 2002 - 01:12:12 PDT

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1945000/1945950.stm
    
    [Mark Shuttleworth for those that place his name, but can't remember
    why, is the founder of Thawte which was recently acquired by VeriSign,
    not bad for a guy who started running things out of his parents garage
    back in 1996.  - WK]
    
    
    25 April, 2002
    
    The world's second space tourist has blasted off into orbit.  The
    South African internet millionaire Mark Shuttleworth is headed for a
    short stay at the International Space Station (ISS).
    
    His 10-day trip has reportedly cost him $20m (14m) - a figure similar
    to that paid by the first orbital tourist, America's Dennis Tito.
    
    Mr Shuttleworth's Soyuz-TM34 rocket lifted clear of the Baikonur
    cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0626 GMT.
    
    Also on board are the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko, the mission
    commander, and Italian flight engineer Roberto Vittori.
    
    Their primary task is to replace the vehicle on the ISS that would act
    as a "lifeboat" if there were ever to be catastrophic problem on the
    platform.
    
    American agreement
    
    Mark Shuttleworth - who is the first African to go into space - has
    paid the cash-strapped Russian space agency for his ticket.
    
    The millionaire has had to undergo extensive training for his trip. He
    has even learnt Russian to aid communication with mission controllers
    in Moscow, Russia.
    
    Unlike Dennis Tito, he flies with the blessing of the American space
    agency (Nasa), which has now warmed to the idea of civilians going to
    the orbital outpost.
    
    Nasa has agreed guidelines with its international partners on how
    tourists should be handled.
    
    "I am absolutely delighted," Mr Tito said. "I'm delighted not only for
    Mark but for other people who will be able to also go up on these taxi
    missions with the co-operation of Nasa."
    
    Queue forming
    
    Mr Shuttleworth will be allowed to use space station laptops for
    e-mail after he arrives on Saturday and will have limited use of US
    communication systems to beam down video and photographs.
    
    He plans also to carry out a variety of science experiments.
    
    The Soyuz craft transporting Mr Shuttleworth and his two colleagues is
    expected to dock with the ISS on Saturday at 0757 GMT.
    
    The queue for the next tourist into space after the South African is
    already forming.
    
    Twenty-three-year-old Lance Bass of the pop group 'N Sync has declared
    his interest. So too, has Lori Garver, a 40-year-old former Nasa
    official who is seeking sponsors to cover the cost of the trip.
    
    
    
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