30 September: First clown in space! Guy Laliberté lifts off from Baikonur

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's done! We now officially have our first clown in space thanks to Russia. It's Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, and he paid $35 million for the 12-day trip. Money well spent for him since he's a billionaire. Ah, and he's also Canada's first space tourist too.

Here he says he'll tickle sleeping astronauts on the International Space Station.

On a related note, an article here goes over some of the interesting rituals undergone by cosmonauts before going into space, which includes urinating on the wheel of the bus near the rocket, as that's what Yuri Gagarin did in order to not soil his suit during takeoff. Since the fall of the USSR there are now black-robed Orthodox priests that bless the rocket, and a movie called The White Sun of the Desert from 1969 also has to be watched the night before the flight, among others.

For a video in French on Guy Laliberté see here. I'll add a video of the launch or anything else related to the subject if something good gets uploaded to YouTube.

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