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Connector of the Day: Guy Laliberte

September 22nd, 2009
04:34 PM ET

His grand plan is to be the "first clown in space." Guy Laliberte, the Canadian founder of the entertainment troupe Cirque Du Soleil, will soon board a Soyuz rocket for a trip to the International Space Station. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/22/art.laliberte.jpg caption="Laliberte will be the seventh fare-paying Soyuz astronaut."]

The billionaire businessman will become the seventh fare-paying private citizen to journey into orbit. While there, he plans to deliver red clown noses, tickle the professional astronauts and lighten up the atmosphere.

Laliberte says he's wanted to go to space since he was a child but his mission is also to raise awareness of his non-profit foundation OneDrop, which aims to bring clean water to the world.

What do you think about space tourism? Is Laliberte's trip worthwhile, safe, the ultimate holiday - or just a new playground for the rich?

He joins us Wednesday on Connect the World so don't miss the opportunity to put your views to Laliberte. Send us your questions and we’ll select the best ones to ask him.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Stephen

    Guy Laliberte created new ways to deliver the fun of the circus to millions of people, young and old, around the world – he deserves his few days in space.


    September 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  2. isaias lieberbaum

    Well he´s making his dream come true!
    Anyway the real big joke it´s the tickets prices he charges to the
    Cirque du soleil, mostly when we know that the baseline of his business it´s built with poor artists coming from russia and china.
    Excellent businessman

    September 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  3. Nicolas Uribe

    A clown in orbit? Most appropriate. Manned space flight is a big joke – a very expensive big joke. As any reasonably well informed person will tell you, robot missions to space, the planets and beyond can be achieved at about one percent of the cost of sending humans.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  4. Joe Farhat

    I wish all this money spent on nonsense be used in much more needed areas, I do not understand the urge to be couped up in a small area for days with limited visibility just to say I went to the outer space. What is so human or challenging about that? He doesn't even get the chance to press the start (launch) button.

    September 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  5. Sawsan

    Are you happy person on earth or not? Do you think your acting onbehalfe of all of us to change the climate by your money? are you going to invent a big washing machine?

    September 23, 2009 at 12:36 am | Reply
  6. jumak

    I think it's wonderful that Monsieur Laliberte is taking the excursion. Most of the other civilians that have traveled have been rather serious people. Laliberte isn't such a person, having rekindled circus and art for the world's public. I don't begrudge a man who started as a street performer and found a way to make it big. He has a chance to go where so few have gone before. In fact, I salute him.

    We've always known that space travel carries potential risk, but, if one has the money, has put his or her affairs in order and made peace with whatever they need to make peace with, then so what?

    Civilian space travel is coming and, as it develops, people will find ways to get more people into space and make it cheaper over time. So, I don't consider it to be a playground for the rich for very long.

    September 23, 2009 at 12:47 am | Reply
  7. Bernard Lamarche

    Happy Birthday Guy Laliberte. Enjoy your trip.

    Thanks to him we will bring this technology more and more available for all the world.

    We should spend more money on traveling into space than doing war.

    Peace and love on earth.

    Bernard Lamarche

    September 23, 2009 at 2:12 am | Reply
  8. Robert Horwath

    With the price of the tickets to his Circus this is no surprise !

    September 23, 2009 at 6:29 am | Reply
  9. DaveT

    Guy, in reference to your mission awareness, will you partake of the water cleaned from the stationers' urine? It's supposed to be good. Thanx in advance!!!!

    September 23, 2009 at 7:20 am | Reply
  10. Pieter Roux

    In his latest, autobiographical book "Magnificent Desolation", astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a well-argued plea for journalists, poets and other artists to be sent into space in order to translate the vision of space travel to fellow human beings in a manner not told previously. Bon voyage, therefore, to Monseur Laliberte, and bring back the vision to share!

    September 23, 2009 at 9:36 am | Reply
  11. lou from paris

    WHen do you think we're going to reach the stage where people can fly into space like they're flying to the carribbean?
    Is it going to become accessible to us non-billionaires?

    September 23, 2009 at 10:07 am | Reply
  12. katrina

    Did Guy hvae to do much training for this? Or is this something where if you have enough money they'll just send a bunch of professionals up with you and make sure you're safe?

    September 23, 2009 at 10:10 am | Reply
  13. guy

    What are you expecting to see up there???

    September 23, 2009 at 11:25 am | Reply
  14. Julian

    Mr. Laliberté,

    Why do you support such a system that wastes so many tax dollars instead of helping out artists with this money in the US or Canada?

    September 23, 2009 at 11:46 am | Reply
  15. Samir

    Were you allowed to bring anyone? If you were – who would you bring? can i come?

    September 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  16. Makjak

    M. Laliberte,

    Have a good time in orbit! Bring some humor to an otherwise sad time in our world.


    September 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  17. Ayesha

    All the best! You've earned your money and as long as you are a responsible citizen, you have every right to send your money the way you want to!

    Happy rocketing!

    September 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  18. tjones09

    I wish all this money spent on nonsense be used in much more needed areas, I do not understand the urge to be couped up in a small area for days with limited visibility just to say I went to the outer space. What is so human or challenging about that? He doesn’t even get the chance to press the start (launch) button.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  19. Pablo Croharé Lavalle

    Hi Guy !
    If you see some kind of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence out there please send my best regards to them and ask if they know some way to stop all wars, to finish with the world hunger,to make all peolpe in the earth to love others and and to stop killing for money and power....If they know so please ask to teach us ASAP........

    September 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  20. Dan of Brisbane

    doesn't entering / re-entering the atmosphere damage the layers that are required to protect our very survival?

    September 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  21. Carlito Camargo

    Mr. Fredom

    Do you think there is a possibility for Love 2? Is there any plans for Love to travel around the world, or this will be only in Vegas?

    September 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  22. alex lago

    Are you going to space just to have some new ideas for your next show at Cirque Du Soleil? Has that been considered?

    September 23, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  23. Christopher G

    Question; What I'd be interested in knowing ,as a Canadian Tax payer ,is whether Mr. Laliberte's "not for profit" foundation OneDrop is footing the bill?
    I don't see what clean water has to do with a $20 million space junket.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  24. Randy in Calgary

    I get tired of hearing people complain about this trip and it is such a waste of money...we can use it elsewhere to help others. Stop it.
    Guy Laliberte deserves this and you don't deserve to tell him what to do with his hard earned money. He does help others and has his cause. Let him be and stop complaining, or use an actual income relevance factor and NEVER treat yourself to anything because there is someone else in need.. really!

    September 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  25. Pierre on Earth

    No one "deserves" a 30 million dollar trip to space. In this capitalist world of ours, a lot of people work hard but when you have made such a ridiculous income (we're talking billions here) it is not a question of how hard you worked to get it, but how lucky/opportunistic/talented/appreciated you have been in life. No one "deserves" such amount of money, the fact that some can be billionaires while others have to walk 5 hours everyday just to get water is just plain nonsense and shows how wrong things are today.
    So if the clown can afford to accomplish his childhood dream by spending some time in space, good for him. But DON'T GO PRETENDING YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR A HIGHER CAUSE.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:44 am | Reply

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