Stilt-walking Cirque du Soleil founder turns space tourist
Quebec fire-breather blasts off in September
The stilt-walking, fire-breathing founder of Cirque du Soleil is set to become Canada's first space tourist later this year.
Quebec-born billionaire Guy Laliberté will make a 12 day visit to the International Space Station in September courtesy the Russian space agency, in a flight estimated to cost at least $30m (£18.6m).
Laliberté will blast off towards the orbiting research platform aboard the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft alongside Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev and American astronaut Jeffery Williams. He claims the purpose of his trip is to raise awareness of water issues on Earth in what he calls "the first poetic social mission in space."
The multi-million deal was brokered by space tour operator, Space Adventures.
"I am honored and humbled today with my new description: humanitarian space explorer," Laliberté said in a statement. "Traveling has always been my way of life and I have been researching the possibilities of space travel with Space Adventures since 2004. But I needed it to be the right time and for the right purpose. This is the time. And the purpose is clear: to raise awareness on water issues to humankind on planet earth. My mission is dedicated to making a difference on this vital resource by using what i know best: artistry."
Laliberté says his "humanitarian" plan is to carry up a poem he co-wrote with a friend and to read it from space. He will be the seventh private citizen to pay his way into orbit.
The last space tourist aboard the ISS was Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian software designer who made his fortune as the lead developer on Microsoft's Word and Excel. Simonyi completed his second trip to the space station this April. ®
A nice thought....
its a nice thought to spend £18.6m to go into space to preach about the problems of water on our humble planet. that is until you consider the fact that £18.6m could supply the poorest people in africa with something between 400 and 600 million litres of clean drinking water?
"..raise awareness on water issues ", my arse.
Why doesn't he just come out and say "F*ck you lot - I've got the cash and I'm going! Nyah Nyah!" - I'd wish him Bon Voyage myself in that case, but self-justification like that just nauseates me.
Being there helps understand
Guy started the One Drop foundation ( and i was there for the event with the Prince Of Monaco visiting the headquarters here in Montreal .. quite a treat ) because so many children do not have access to clean safe drinking water all around the globe. That is the purpose and mission these
people have invested themselves and their money ( 200 millions to start ) in order to provide communities in need with a supply of clean water. In itself , the new Cirque buildings have also been made to recycle rain water etc etc .. to top it off .. on the 7 th floor , they made a gigantic cone shaped rain collector . The intent is clear , help people. Raise awareness and money to help.
He worked hard to get there . We are proud of him. His mission was to put a smile on people.
It still is The whole of the Province of Quebec and Canada are proud of him.And if he gets a blast out of it , so much the better. He worked hard to get there and by all means , have a heck of a trip blasting off.
Bon voyage Guy :)