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MirCorp Response to Press Inquiries

Press Release From: MirCorp
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Alexandria, Virginia, August 28, 2002 - MirCorp has received many inquiries from the press and from our clients regarding an unauthorized announcement by Space Adventures (on August 23rd, 2002) that Lance Bass flew on a Space Adventures microgravity flight and somehow was part of the Space Adventures program.

The announcement contained several key errors that must be corrected for the record:

  • Lance Bass is now in training for a Soyuz taxi mission scheduled for an October 28, 2002 launch. His training is divided into two stages: first, the general training; and then the crew training. His general training was accomplished through a contract via MirCorp and our subcontractor Atlas AeroSpace. That contract was concluded last week.
  • The crew training portion of his training has now begun, and MirCorp is delighted to continue our role in helping Lance fly into space.
  • As part of Lance's crew training the Russian Star City cosmonaut center placed him on a previously scheduled commercial microgravity flight. The microgravity flight was operated under the authority of Star City, which has the right to add people if possible. All expected that commercial operators would not seek to profit from an individual's training experience with which they have no contractual association.

The pictures of Lance were released by Space Adventures without his knowledge, his image and name were used commercially by Space Adventures without his permission. In addition, this unauthorized release of photos violated strict rules established by Star City, rules that MirCorp and others have carefully followed. Such irresponsible action is the very sort of marketing circus that MirCorp and our partners have avoided, and the consequences could make it more difficult for others in the media business to follow their dream of space flight.

MirCorp thanks its partner Atlas Aerospace, which has not sought to 'cash in' on Lance's dream of flying. Atlas has been there almost every day of Lance's training at Star City. We also thank Incredible Adventures, which as worked under contract with MirCorp to coordinate a film crew and other aspects of the program and has also honored Lance's privacy during his time at Star City.

MirCorp has worked hard for more than five months on this project, acting as the space coordinator for Lance from his first days of medical testing through to the current crew training. We have refrained from press releases or self-serving comments to the press. This is too challenging a mission and with unresolved sponsorship issues, this is not the time to be basking in self-congratulations. We are all working to get Lance into space.

This has always been our corporate policy. We signed the first flight contract with Mr. Dennis Tito and chose to refrain form making public comments that would only heighten difficult relations that existed between commercial customers and government space agencies.

MirCorp has a very large investment in commercial manned space activities. Our goal is to build up this market and not use cheap marketing tricks to deflate others. We object to Space Adventures' action, which did not stop with its unwarranted public announcement. Personnel from Space Adventures also made phone calls to MirCorp clients, spreading the same sort of misinformation as they have done in the past. This irresponsible action has to stop for the good of the commercial space tourism industry.

Our legal counsel has warned Space Adventures in the past about these activities and our executives have had direct discussions with Space Adventures' President, Eric Anderson about these tactics. MirCorp will be taking appropriate actions in the next two weeks to stop this sort of business interference.

About MirCorp

MirCorp is the leading manned commercial space exploration company, and has worked with customers in both media and private tourism sectors. MirCorp is currently working on developing the world's first privately owned home in space. Currently named Mini Station 1, the new space station will accommodate up to three visitors for stays of up to 20 days at a time. MirCorp headquarters are in Amsterdam and it has offices in Moscow, Russia. For information, contact Gert Weyers at +31 20 520 68 40 or visit www.mir-corp.com

MirCorp public relations contact:

Jeffrey M. Lenorovitz
The InfoWEST Group
Telephone (U.S.): +1 (703) 448-5669
U.S. mobile telephone: +1 (703) 615-3646
International GSM telephone (France): +33 (0)6 80-85-86-25
e-mail: jleno@infowestgroup.com


Related press release:

  • 22 August 2002: Lance Bass Flies with Space Adventures, Space Adventures

    "Pop singer and prospective space tourist Lance Bass joined Space Adventures today on one of its scheduled Zero-Gravity training flights in Star City, Russia. During the one-hour parabolic training flight, Bass and Space Adventures' clients floated weightlessly for 30-second intervals. "

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