Moscow (AFP) August 12, 2000 - The US television game show "Survivor" is to offer a lucky contestant the prize of blasting into space for the Russian space station Mir, MirCorp said late on Friday, cited by the Interfax news agency.
Ten Americans, selected during the popular televised endurance game show, will take part in a training programme at Russia's Yuri Gagarin astronaut training facility, MirCorp, which handles Mir's commercial ventures, said.
A winner will be chosen during the training sessions, which will be aired on US television, and will then be rocket-propelled into space next year alongside a Russian crew and US businessman Dennis Tito.
Tito paid for his place in the space shuttle out of his own pocket. Despite his 59 years, he passed all the necessary medical tests with flying colours, a MirCorp spokesman said last month.
Facing mounting financial difficulties to keep the aging space station in orbit, MirCorp has turned to commercial ventures to finance two planned space voyages to Mir next year.
The first crew of astronauts are due to blast off at the beginning of 2001 and plan to stay in orbit several months. The second shuttle, which will carry the two Americans, will head into space in summer.
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