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Pepsi-Cola Co. is working on a promotional deal that would culminate in a free ride aboard the Russian Soyuz space taxi, according to a recent article in Advertising Age. The deal, reportedly worth $35 million, involves Pepsi's effort to secure a $15-million seat on the craft as it heads for the International Space Station. The rest of the money would go toward promoting the arrangement, possibly including a game show of some sort, according to Ad Age, quoting unnamed sources close to the deal. The promotion is expected to being in summer 2003 and run through the following year, according to Ad Age.
PepsiCo isn't a total newcomer to outer space, either. The company paid Russia to float a can of its soft drink outside the now-gone Mir space station. Russia also once put the logo of Pizza Hut one of the brands Pepsi formerly owned on one of its rockets. The new pop culture-meets-space plan came soon after Russia officially canned the flight of American pop star Lance Bass.
Boeing is the ISS' prime contractor.
Heavy metal singer hits new heights as charter pilot
Bruce Dickinson, singer for the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden, is hitting new heights in his second career as a commercial airline pilot, reported the Associated Press and abcnews.com
"It's a great job," Dickinson told The Daily Telegraph in London. "Nothing else compares."
British charter airline Astraeus confirmed that Dickinson, 44, serves as first officer on Boeing 737s flying between Great Britain and holiday destinations in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The British band famous for long hair and high-pitched hits such as "Run to the Hills" formed in the late 1970s, but still retains a loyal following.
"We have had Iron Maiden fans on board who, when they heard my name announced as first officer, asked the hostesses if it was the rock star," Dickinson said.
Dickinson, who got his commercial pilot's license in the 1990s, performs with Iron Maiden during vacations from his airline job. In June, a re-released "Run to the Hills" reached No. 9 on the British singles chart.
Lance in space? The saga continues
Last month, Russia officially told N'Sync singer Lance Bass that his bid to visit the International Space Station was history. Bass, 23, hoped to become the third fare-paying tourist to venture into space aboard a Russian spacecraft. He also would have been the youngest person to visit space.
However, reports Florida Today, the pop star is back at Russia's cosmonaut center, having recently started a new training session. Ordered to leave the Star City cosmonaut training ground last month after he and his sponsors repeatedly failed to pay the $20-million fare, Bass has returned to the facility outside Moscow, said Yuri Nikiforov, general director of Atlas Airspace.
"He will not go in October, for sure, but he just doesn't want to interrupt the program," Nikiforov said. He spoke after Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed official at the Star City training center as saying officials there had decided Saturday to permit Bass to resume training. Russian space agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov did not deny Bass might return, but stressed that if he did, he would not be training for any space mission.
Various news outlets reported that Russian space officials barred Bass from his space-travel quest. The pop star had hoped to rocket away from Kazakhstan on Oct. 28, with corporate sponsors and upcoming television specials providing boost. Bass' supporters contended the decision was not final and that negotiations were continuing, but last month's letter from Russian officials to NASA formalized the matter.
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