September 30, 2009
Okay, that was one of the strangest sendoffs in launch history. Not only did space tourist and Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté keep putting on his red clown nose, the whole crew periodically broke into the cheesy pop song “Mammy Blue” as they were getting ready to board their Soyuz rocket for a ride to the International Space Station. Obviously some kind of inside joke.
At some point during his 10 days on the station, Laliberté has said he intends to tickle the professional astronauts while they’re asleep. And he’s carrying up eight more clown noses with him. The Canadian billionaire is also a serious poker player, so my recommendation to the crew is that they not get in a game unless they want to spend the rest of their time in orbit dressed like clowns. (Video: Russia Today)