Send in the Clowns: Cirque du Soleil Founder Yuks Up ISS Vacation

Armed with nine red clown noses and a weightless juggling act, Canadian billionaire and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte plans to get a lot of bang for the $35 million he's spending to hitch a tourist ride to the International Space Station. Along with the clowning, Laliberte is planning to coordinate from space a 14-city show featuring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Peter Gabriel and U2 to publicize his One Drop foundation.

Perhaps they'll play "Send in the Clowns" when Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte departs for the International Space Station Sept. 30. After all, the Canadian billionaire, who paid $35 million for a tourist seat on the next Russian mission to the ISS, said Sept. 2 he's bringing along nine red clown noses.
During a video conference Sept. 1 from the Russian space complex at Star City, where he is undergoing a training stint for the trip to the ISS, Laliberte promised no fire breathing (his original calling) but said, perhaps, a weightless juggling act might be in order.
Despite the yuks, Laliberte calls his planned 12 days in space a "poetic social mission" and a chance to promote his commitment to water conservation and his One Drop Foundation. While in space, Laliberte announced, he will coordinate shows in 14 cities on five continents on Oct. 9. Each show will emphasize the importance of water.
According to Laliberte, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and performers Peter Gabriel, Shakira and U2 have already committed to make an appearance. Laliberte said he was surprised they accepted his invitation but, "All these people are with me because they share the same worries we have about water. They also share my belief that through art and emotion we can convey a universal message."