Cirque du Soleil in space?

June 4, 2009 8:38:30 AM PDT
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte is set to become Canada's first space tourist when he travels on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September. Chantal CFotDe, a spokeswoman for the circus troupe, confirmed the trip Wednesday but would not provide further details before a press conference on Thursday.

The 49-year-old Laliberte is in Moscow for the official announcement, which will be made simultaneously at the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal.

The Quebec billionaire will become the seventh private citizen to visit the orbiting space lab since April 2001.

Past visits by paying space tourists have lasted anywhere from a week to 13 days.

Laliberte will become the third Canadian to visit the International Space Station this year. One astronaut is there now and another is expected shortly.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the circus, which has helped Laliberte build a personal fortune estimated to be $2.5 billion.

The cost of flying to the international space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship is estimated to be at least $25 million.

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