. 24/7 Space News .
No Cash, No Space Flight, Russia Tells Pop Idol Lance Bass

Soyuz 5 nominated space flight participant Lance Bass of the band 'N Sync checks his headset 27 August 2002 during a familiarization tour of Mission Control Center (MCC) at Johnson Space Center, Texas. Bass, along with Soyuz 5 commander Sergie Zalyotin of Russia and flight engineer Frank Dewine of Belgium are at JSC for a week of training on station operations in preparation for their 28 October 2002 launch to the station. AFP PHOTO/NASA
by Olga Nedbayeva
Moscow (AFP) Sep 03, 2002
Russia shot down the space-travel dreams of US boy band heart-throb Lance Bass on Tuesday, calling off his trip to the International Space Station because he could not afford the 20-million-dollar ticket for the flight.

Bass, the 23-year-old star of pop group N'Sync, returned to Moscow at the weekend after training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for a flight that would have made him the youngest person ever to whiz around in space.

He had been due to resume training at the Star City space center outside Moscow when the final Russian pronouncement was made.

Bass could not be reached for comment because he reportedly returned in a huff to his posh central Moscow hotel after Russia's space center delivered its verdict.

He later checked out of the hotel without speaking to reporters.

Russia not only accused Bass of failing to honor his contract but also expressed regret that they ever got involved with the star, having picked his candidacy over less glamorous but far richer candidates who could have actually coughed up the cash.

"This is our final decision and is not subject to change," Russian Space Agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov told AFP.

"We bet on Bass, turned down other candidates," Gorbunov separately told ITAR-TASS news agency.

"Now even if Bass paid us 40 million dollars rather that the 20 million that he owes, this flight could still not take place. He cannot possibly prepare for the voyage in two months."

Bass has been in training for three months in a bid to become the first entertainer in space, following in the tracks of two other space tourists, US businessman Dennis Tito and South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

Russian officials and the singer's backers have been haggling over payment deadlines for the fare for weeks, with the singer's handlers accusing the Russians of getting bogged down in red tape.

The Soyuz rocket flight is scheduled to take off on October 28, with or without Bass.

It will include Russian commander Sergei Zalyotin, Belgian flight engineer Frank DeWinne and a 150-kilogram (90 pound) cargo in the place of Bass.

"Our financial experts estimate that Bass is worth some 300 to 400 million dollars," fumed Gorbunov. "But strictly speaking, it seems that he was let down by his other financial backers."

Bass's backers were believed to be seeking funding from a US television station, and the electronics retailer Radio Shack, who helped sponsor the earlier stages of the project.

The goal of the 10-day mission is to replace a lifeboat capsule for the space station.

Russia's space program is desperately stretched for cash, and its previous two decisions to offer commercial space shots for civilians prompted protests from US space officials, who argue that space tourists pose a danger to the entire ISS crew.

A total of 16 countries are collaborating on the station, which is scheduled for completion in 2006 at an estimated cost of 60 to 96 billion dollars.

Much of the ISS technology was inherited from the Soviet Union's pioneering Mir space station, which was allowed to break up in the atmosphere in March 2001, after 15 years in orbit.

All rights reserved. � 2002 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Are Boy Bands A Viable Launch Vehicle For Space Tourism
San Diego - Jul 18, 2002
A little look behind the business infrastructure that launches boy bands reveals a lucrative source of capital and explorers for the new frontier. A business World that appears to support Lance Bass's aspirations to become a space tourist.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.