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Future space tourists - Internet entrepreneurs Jennifer Bellofatto and Cherry Mendoza.
by Staff Writers
Orange CA (SPX) Apr 03, 2007
Internet entrepreneurs Jennifer Bellofatto, 33, and Cherry Mendoza, 32, plan on becoming the sixth and seventh space tourists ever. Following in the footsteps of five private cosmonauts, these two full-time mothers will begin training in the fall of 2007.

Preparation for orbital spaceflight begins with a six month training period at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. The physical component includes Soyuz simulation, centrifuge and spacewalk training, and mock launch and re-entry drills.

Once aboard the Soyuz capsule, Bellofatto and Mendoza will spend 10 days at the International Space Station (ISS), a laboratory circling 220 miles above Earth"s surface.

These missions are commonly referred to as "taxi missions" because they serve to rotate the long duration crew on the ISS as well as switch the Soyuz spacecraft that has been docked at the station over the previous six months.

"It has always been a dream of mine to travel to space," says Bellofatto. "As I prepare for the journey I am reminded that dreams can become reality if we believe. Anything is within our reach."

"This will be a milestone for womankind," adds Mendoza. "By participating in this space mission we wanted to show that women can accomplish great things together. After all, our whole company is based on women as each other"s best resource."

Bellofatto and Mendoza are cofounders of, a women-centered social network that creates diverse opportunities for women. A free, interactive resource center, allows women to network with each other, features picture and video sharing, news, professional forums, and charity groups.

The $20 million per person price tag for the cofounders" space trip will be paid for by venture capital companies who, as with MySpace and YouTube, are eager to back promising Internet social networks.

The two mothers seem more than willing and ready to go to space. "If this experience goes well," says Mendoza, "we will have taken on two ultimate frontiers, cyberspace and outer space."

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Fifth Space Tourist To Carry Communist-Era Keepsake Into Space
Moscow (AFP) March 22, 2007
American software billionaire Charles Simonyi will be packing a piece of Communist-era computer gadgetry for his launch into space on a Russian rocket next month, he said during training Thursday.

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