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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
'N Sync star 'fit' for space
'N Sync
Bass (right) has been a chart-topper with 'N Sync
Pop star Lance Bass has come one step closer to becoming the next space tourist after being told he has passed a health and fitness test.

Bass, of the boy band 'N Sync, has been given informal word that he is physically fit enough to take a seat on a Russian rocket flight to the International Space Station.

The news comes just two weeks after he had a minor heart operation to rectify an irregular heartbeat.

Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth became the second space tourist in April
He is now expected to start flight training at the cosmonaut centre in Russia's Star City on Monday, 3 June, which would last for five or six months.

"He's in top physical condition, top mental condition," according to David Krieff, a Hollywood producer who is arranging financial backing.

Bass's adventure will be followed on a series of US television specials.

Mr Krieff said Bass would be officially certified fit at "some sort of ceremony" on Wednesday after completing a series of physical and medical tests following the end of 'N Sync's latest tour.

If he comes through the flight training, he will be a contender for a seat on a re-supply mission that would last seven or eight days.

Ambition

Bass, 23, would become the youngest person ever to go into space, Mr Krieff said.

He has held the ambition since childhood, when he went to a space camp.

If successful, he could follow in the footsteps of Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, the world's first space tourists, who reportedly paid $20m (14m) each for their trips to the international space station.

Mr Krieff said his company, Destiny Productions, was arranging corporate sponsorship as well as the TV deal.

See also:

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25 Mar 02 | Europe
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06 May 01 | Science/Nature
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