US Pop Star In Russia Still Hopeful About Space Flight
US boy band heartthrob Lance Bass is still in Moscow trying to raise money for a Russian flight to the International Space Station (ISS), Russian space officials said on Thursday.
But an unnamed official at Russia's Rosaviakosmos space agency told Interfax news agency that Bass could not get onto the flight next month even if he offered to pay twice the previous price of 20 million dollars.
Rosaviakosmos earlier this month tore up its agreement with Bass, the 23-year-old star of pop group N'Sync, because his sponsors failed to pay.
Bass had been in training for three months in a bid to become the first entertainer in space, following two other space tourists, US businessman Dennis Tito and South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.
"Bass is currently in Moscow trying to secure financing for his flight, but Russian space officials feel rather pessimistic about these attempts," the Rosaviakosmos official said.
"Until recently, Bass was undergoing training for free. Rosaviakosmos insisted that the contract be paid on time but the schedule of payments was violated. His investors proved to be insolvent," he added.
"Even if they pay twice the amount fixed in the contract, Bass will not be able to fly to the ISS in October," the official concluded.
The Soyuz rocket flight due to have transported Bass is scheduled to take off on October 28. It will include Russian commander Sergei Zalyotin, Belgian flight engineer Frank DeWinne and a 150-kilogram (330-pound) cargo in the place of Bass.
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No Cash, No Soyuz: Says Russia
Russian space officials have called off a planned trip to the International Space Station by US pop star Lance Bass because he failed to provide necessary payments for the flight, Itar-Tass reported on Tuesday. Bass, the star of pop group N'Sync, returned to Moscow at the weekend after a week's training at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston.