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Russians Ground Lance Bass's Plans

FWIW............de WA1KAT

On Wednesday morning it was reported that 'N Sync wannabe astronaut, Lance 
Bass, 23, was ready, willing and, most importantly, able to zoom into space 
on a Russian rocket, reported Reuters. But by Wednesday afternoon, reported 
the Associated Press, the Russians were saying nyet so fast. "The Russian 
Aerospace Agency has had no contacts whatsoever with Mr. Bass," agency 
spokesman Konstantin Kreidenko told the news service. "We have received no 
requests from either him or his representatives, not to speak about signing 
any contracts." Through David Krieff, a producer seeking financial backing 
for Bass's purported trip (which carries a $20 million fee), it was said that 
Bass recently underwent an unexplained surgical procedure to correct an 
unexplained heart irregularity but had been informally pronounced physically 
fit enough to make the journey. "He's in top physical condition, top mental 
condition," Krieff said from Los Angeles, according to Reuters. Krieff went 
on to say that next week Bass was due to commence a nearly six-month flight 
training program at the cosmonaut center in Russia's Star City. But according 
to Kreidenko: "Anyone has the right to undergo tests in the Institute of 
Biomedical Problems. But that doesn't mean that such person is considered to 
be a candidate for space flight." Furthermore, the clock is ticking on who 
will get to go, given the preparation time involved. The AP, saying that it 
appears no space tourist will join the trip, notes that Bass is scheduled to 
hold a press conference later this week to clarify his intentions.  
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