On April 20 South African businessman Marc Shuttleworth, 28, will become the second space tourist, the RIA Novosti correspondent was told at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in the Star City on Tuesday. The second space tourist will be put into orbit together with a visiting crew of the International Space Station. Its commander will be Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko and researcher engineer Italian Roberto Vittori of the European Space Agency. The manned spaceship Soyuz will blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. According to the Cosmonaut Training Center, businessman Marc Shuttleworth is virtually ready for the flight. Last summer he underwent training together with the crew on the Black sea, acting out splash-down versions, and then on flight simulators. Shuttleworth will spend about a week aboard the International Space Station. He will take photos, do video filming of the Earth and carry out a series of research experiments. For his flight the second space tourist will pay as much as Dennis Tito /the first space tourist/, whose share was 20 million U.S. dollars.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign