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Soyuz TMA-16 launched from Baikonur. / October 1, 2009 /

The Soyuz TMA-16 successfully launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, RIA Novosti reported. On board the International Space Station went Rossiyanin Maxim Sura, American Jeffrey Williams, as well as a Canadian citizen and space tourist Guy Laliberté.

It is planned that Laliberté will stay on station for 12 days and will return to Earth with Russians c Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. According to Canadians, «he carries with him into space a sense of humor.» So, before putting on the spacesuit Laliberté put on clown noses. In addition, he promised to tickle the crew on orbit.

Guy Laliberté is known as the founder of Cirque du Solei. The cost of the flight, according to unofficial information, was $ 35 million. Mission Laliberté called the first «humanitarian mission» to the station, whose purpose is to attract public attention to problems with drinking water on the planet.

The mission Laliberté srezhissiruet global show on Earth. It is planned that it will be able to see the residents of Montreal, Moscow, Santa Monica, New York, Sydney, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Marrakech, Tokyo, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and London. In each city will be one party that is on your choice will perform the song or read a poem. According Laliberté, the shares have already agreed to participate international celebrities Shakira, U2, Salma Hayek and many others.

Laliberté will become the seventh space tourist, who would visit the ISS. Before him, the station managed to visit the Americans Dennis Tito (Dennis Tito), Gregory Olsen (Gregory Olsen), Anousheh Ansari (Anousheh Ansari), Charles Simonyi (Charles Simonyi) and Richard Garriott (Richard Garriott), as well as the South African millionaire Mark Shuttleworth (Mark Shuttleworth).

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