Press Release

Space Adventures Announces Founder of Cirque du Soleil Guy Laliberte Successfully Launched to the International Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
September 30, 2009
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Space Adventures Announces Founder of Cirque du Soleil Guy Laliberte Successfully Launched to the International Space Station

First Canadian private space explorer will focus on water-related issues

Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company currently providing human space mission opportunities to the world marketplace, today announced that its orbital client Guy Laliberte and his crew successfully launched aboard a Soyuz-TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Laliberte joins the Expedition 21 crew, which includes Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams.

During his 10-day stay at the ISS, Mr. Laliberte will share information about water-related issues through an artistic and poetic mission, themed “Moving Stars and Earth for Water.” The message he transmits from space will raise awareness for the ONE DROP Foundation. The centerpiece event will take place on October 9 from space and in 14 cities simultaneously around the world, beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Central to the mission is a poem written by Canadian author Yann Martel. The tale will be delivered piece by piece, one destination at a time. The event will broadcast live on

“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 Guy Laliberte. “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 launch of Guy’s mission is the eighth orbital flight that we’ve facilitated and represents our continued commitment to providing spaceflight opportunities for private individuals. Each of our clients is unique, but Guy is our first client who does not have a technical background. Rather, he’s an artist, a performer… a creative genius,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “We’re proud that we are able to make his childhood dream a reality and look forward to assisting many others in their quest to fly to space as well.”

About Guy Laliberte

Guy Laliberte was born in Quebec City in 1959. An accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-breather, he founded Quebec’s first internationally renowned circus with the support of a small group of accomplices. A bold visionary, Guy Laliberte recognized and cultivated the talents of the street performers from the Fete foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil in 1984.

Since the very beginnings of Cirque du Soleil, Guy has insisted on having a social approach as part of the development of the company. Keenly aware that Cirque could play a role as agent of change, over 15 years ago, he created Cirque du Monde, an arts education program for street kids all over the world. He also chose to set up the International Headquarters and creative studios of Cirque du Soleil in the St. Michel district of Montreal, one of the poorest neighborhoods in North America, to stimulate a sense of local pride and ensure the revitalization of the area through artistic stimulation. This paved the way to TOHU, Cite des arts du Cirque, a project he initiated in the same neighborhood. Since early on he has also dedicated 1% of all revenues generated by Cirque du Soleil to social and cultural programs worldwide.

Guy was the first to orchestrate the marriage of cultures and artistic and acrobatic disciplines that is the hallmark of Cirque du Soleil. Since 1984, he has guided the creative team through the creation of every show and contributed to elevating the circus arts to the level of the great artistic disciplines.

In October 2007, Guy Laliberte entered into a second lifetime commitment by creating the ONE DROP Foundation to fight poverty around the world by providing sustainable access to safe water. This new initiative stems from the knowledge that the right to water is key to the survival of individuals and communities all over the world. It is inspired by the values which have been at the heart of Cirque du Soleil since its inception: the belief that life gives back what you have given and even the smallest gesture will make a difference. For more information, please visit

About Space Adventures

Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. In 2012, Space Adventures plans to launch the first private mission to the ISS. This private spaceflight will be a fully-dedicated mission of the Soyuz-TMA spacecraft with two seats available, along with a comprehensive package of services including science, education and media program options. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.