On Monday, the TV channel CBS cited Konstantin Kreidenko of the Russian Aerospace Agency as saying that organizers of the flight of United States' space tourist Lance Bass were given five days to transfer payment for the flight to the Russian side. According to the CBS report, Kreidenko said the singer with the pop group N'Sync would not be able to join the flight to the International Space Station unless the money was transferred by Friday. Press reports have placed the payment at about 20 million dollars.
The launch is to take place on October 28th. By that time, NASA and other participants in the international space project must approve Bass's candidacy. Apart from this procedure, which US media have said has a formal character, the singer will also have to be trained as to how to return to the Earth on board a shuttle.
In case the money is transferred in time, the 23-year-old Lance Bass will become the world's third space tourist and the youngest of the planet's inhabitants to go on a space journey.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969