[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Lance Bass officially off flight, AP reports


The Associated Press is reporting that Lance Bass has officially been
removed from the flight.  Here's their story.


Ray, W2RS

Lance Bass Space Trip Officially Off

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Pop star Lance Bass' dreams of going into space
have officially gone ``pop!''

The Russian Space Agency notified NASA on Monday that the 'N Sync singer
won't fly to the international space station next month.

Bass had hoped to rocket away from Kazakhstan on Oct. 28, boosted by
corporate sponsors and a seven-part television documentary. But TV producers
failed to raise the estimated $20 million fare, and Russian space officials
last week kicked Bass off the upcoming crew.

Bass' supporters contended the decision was not final and that negotiations
were continuing, but Monday's letter to NASA formalized the matter.

``The letter speaks for itself,'' said NASA spokeswoman Debra Rahn.
``They've officially withdrawn Mr. Bass from the flight.''

The letter from Russia's director of human space flight was dated Friday and
faxed Monday to Frederick Gregory, NASA's deputy administrator and chairman
of the board that was reviewing Bass' bid to fly to space. NASA promptly
forwarded copies of the letter to the other space agencies involved in the
station program, namely Canada, Europe and Japan.

Rahn said Russia's M.V. Sinelshchikov thanked Gregory and other space
station officials for reviewing Bass' proposal to fly to the orbiting
outpost. But he noted that the Russian Space Agency could wait no longer for
the contractual obligations to be met, she said.

The singer's publicist, Jill Fritzo, was not immediately available for

Just two weeks ago, Bass and the two men with whom he was to be launched
spent a full week training at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The celebrity
posed for pictures with astronauts and other space program workers and took
part in an Internet chat with school children.

At 23, Bass would have been the youngest person ever in space. He also would
have been the third paying space tourist.

``We appreciated his education outreach activities while he was there,''
Rahn said. She added that NASA had no comment on Bass' removal from Russia's
Soyuz crew. ``It was a business decision in which NASA had no part.''

With the launch of the Soyuz rocket just seven weeks away, there's not
enough time to put anyone else on board. Russian space officials previously
indicated that a cargo container weighing the same as Bass would replace the
singer once the deal was off.

While at Houston, Bass said he was confident everything eventually would
work out. But if he couldn't travel this fall, he told reporters, ``I would
work my butt off trying to go for another mission.''

On the Net:

NASA Web site: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

09/09/02 15:55

Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org