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TV channel to send Russian into space

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MUMBAI: It has been reported that a Russian TV channel intends to pay $ 20 million to send an "ordinary Russian" to the International Space Station (ISS).

A Russian Space Agency spokesman said that Russia's Channel One intends to select 20 people for training at Moscow's Star City astronaut training centre, of whom one will be selected to follow the footsteps of two fare-paying "space tourists,"

Channel One aims to sign a contract with Rosaviakosmos by mid-December. The report in spacdaily.com states that the attempt by Channel One to break new frontiers in the reality TV genre comes after two millionaire businessmen, Dennis Tito of the United States and Mark Shuttleworth of South Africa, paid 20 million dollars each for flights to the ISS.

In the US there were reports that Lance Bass of the boy band 'N Sync was planning to travel into space. MTV was said to have been planning a series of specials, documentaries and live coverage of the launch and mission. However Bass missed the chance of a place aboard a shuttle to the ISS last month after his backers failed to come up with the money. Evidently Bass' plan to pay by cobbling together sponsors and programming exclusives did not work out.

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