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Circus Tycoon Reaches Space Station


Circus Tycoon Reaches Space Station
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A Canadian circus tycoon has become the seventh paying visitor to the International Space Station.

Guy Laliberte, founder of the Cirque du Soleil performance troupe, arrived at the station Friday after a smooth trip from Earth aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The billionaire circus mogul, dubbed the first clown in space, plans to use his week-long visit to highlight concerns about access to clean water on Earth.

Two crew members joined him on the flight - U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev.

But it was Laliberte who stole the show, donning a red clown nose before taking off into orbit Wednesday.

The acrobat and former fire-breather has called his trip into space "a fairy tale come true."

Laliberte is the founder of the One Drop Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at fighting poverty by promoting access to clean water.

On October 9, he plans to host an Internet broadcast on the issue from space, linking 14 cities around the world and featuring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Irish rock band U2 and other celebrities.

The last space tourist was U.S. computer software pioneer Charles Simonyi, who paid $35 million for his seat aboard a Russian rocket.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.