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Cirque du Soleil Founder Heads to Outer Space

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté is truly going to new heights this week as he was launched into outer space this morning.

guy_laliberte_space_suitLaliberté paid over $35 million to a private space exploration company called Space Adventures, Ltd., for the privilege of being a guest aboard a Soyuz-TMA spacecraft that blasted off from Kazakhstan, headed to the International Space Station (ISS). Once there, he plans to share information about water-related issues through an artistic and poetic mission, themed “Moving Stars and Earth for Water.”

“Traveling has always been my way of life and I have been researching the possibilities of space travel with Space Adventures since 2004. But I needed it to be the right time and for the right purpose. This is the time. And the purpose is clear: to raise awareness on water issues to humankind on planet earth,” said Laliberté, via a press release. “My mission is dedicated to making a difference on this vital resource by using what I know best: artistry. This will be the first poetic social mission in space.”

The message he transmits during his 10-day stay at the ISS is aimed at raising awareness for the One Drop Foundation, with the main event taking place October 9 both from space and from 14 world-wide locations. It will be aired live on the internet via the One Drop website starting at 8pm (ET). Strangely enough, Vegas, home to six Cirque shows, is not participating in the event.

You can also follow the artistic astronaut on Twitter @ONEDROPdotorg.

Wonder if this trip will influence any future Cirque productions?

In any case, if you missed the launch on TV, here is a video of Laliberté and crew’s lift-off:

[Photo courtesy Cirque du Soleil]