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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Titanic director gets weightless
James Cameron
Reputation: Cameron is well-known as a perfectionist
Titanic director James Cameron has undergone space flight training as part of his research for a forthcoming film and book about Mars.

Cameron, who also directed Aliens and the Terminator films, experienced weightlessness on board a Russian aircraft used to train cosmonauts.

Mir space station
Mir: Cameron is not planning a trip to the Russian space station
Rae Sanchini, a spokesman for the director, confirmed Cameron had taken the trip ahead of two films he is producing and co-writing about the red planet.

But he denied rumours that the director was considering a trip to the Russian space station Mir.

"He did go up on the jet, that's true", Sanchini said.

"He will do whatever he can (to get the feel of space flight) because it's part of what his characters are going through," she added.

Cameron has a reputation in Hollywood as a perfectionist who will go to extreme lengths to get the shot he wants.

Sanchini poured scorn on a report on the web site, quoting an unnamed official in the Russian space industry as saying Cameron underwent medical tests and was cleared for a possible mission to Mir.

He said the rumours were sparked by a recent visit to Moscow by Cameron.

James Cameron
Oscar: Cameron was a winner with Titanic
The director flew on the Ilushin-76 jet, the Russian equivalent of a NASA jet, nicknamed the "vomit comet".

Sanchini said Cameron was "a huge fan of all space exploration efforts" and had also made a number of research trips to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

"I can't say the idea of going into space wouldn't appeal to him tremendously,'' she said.

"It's just right now he's busy working on these projects.''

Cameron is producing and co-writing two fictional Martian exploration films - a 3D film for Imax and a five-part mini series for the Fox TV network in America.

Last month the NBC TV network in America announced plans for a quiz show, Destination Mir, offering the winner a flight to the Mir space station.

See also:

04 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Financiers confident of Mir future
13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Destination Mir for reality TV
11 Jul 00 | Europe
Selling space Russian-style
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