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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Ex-mayor's trip out of this world
Earth, Nasa
A trip round the globe should take two and a half hours
A former Warwickshire mayor is aiming to become one of the first tourists to take a trip around planet Earth.

Former Stratford-upon-Avon mayor Cyril Bennis, 56, is paying 50,000 to sign up for a trip into space.

It is being organised by US firm Space Adventures, which saw businessman Dennis Tito spend a week on the International Space Station.

Mr Bennis' trip should take place within two years and will be a two-and- a-half-hour flight around the globe.

He said he had been obsessed with space flight since meeting astronaut John Glenn, who in 1962 became the first American to orbit the earth.

Zero gravity

In preparation he has spent time at a facility in Kansas, where he has been getting used to floating around with zero gravity.

"It is an extraordinary experience," he said.

"I have been told the flight will take place within 18 months or two years. It will be 62 miles up in the air in a specially adapted craft."

He has been training for his trip by running marathons.

Last year he completed the tough Marathon des Sables, six days of marathon runs across the Sahara.

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