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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 08:09 GMT
Russian TV clinches space deal
The Russian Soyuz attached to the ISS
The winner will head to the International Space Station
A Russian television channel has agreed to pay millions of dollars to secure the right to offer a trip into space as the top prize in a game show.

The station - Channel One - reached the deal after nearly two years of negotiations with the cash-strapped Russian space agency, Rosaviakosmos, beating off competition from several other television companies.

The space show will be open to contestants from across the world, who will be filmed taking part in cosmonaut training.

The winner will receive a berth on a flight to the International Space Station late next year.

The third man

There will be no age limit for contestants, who are merely required to be in good health and able to speak English.

Businessman Dennis Tito
Russia has already taken two tourists into space
Channel One has not revealed how much it will cost them in total to put the winning contestant into space, but it is known to have paid a first instalment of $2m to Rosaviakosmos.

The Russians have already taken two paying passengers into space: the millionaire businessmen, Dennis Tito, from the United States, and Mark Shuttleworth of South Africa.

One space traveller hopeful, Lance Bass of the US group 'N Sync, failed to secure his place aboard a shuttle to the International Space Station last month after his backers failed to come up with the necessary cash.

See also:

09 Oct 02 | Media reports
25 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
14 Mar 02 | Europe
28 Aug 99 | Science/Nature
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