Canadian circus billionaire Guy Laliberte, who founded Cirque du Soleil, has become the "first clown to go into orbit". A Soyuz capsule carrying Laliberte and two other astronauts blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Russian rocket on Wednesday. Guy Laliberte put on a red nose like a clown when he boarded the spacecraft.
Mr Laliberte is also is taking nine red clown noses into space, one each for members of the orbiting ISS crew. He says he will make the ISS astronauts laugh during his 12-day stay, and produce a web event that highlights the issue of clean water for all. He intends to lead a "poetical social" performance from orbit. The two-hour show will link up with contributions from 14 cities worldwide and will be streamed on the web. Guy Laliberte reportedly paid more than £20m for his ticket to the International Space Station.