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'NSYNC Singer's Space Ultimatum

The Russian space agency has given 'NSYNC singer Lance Bass five days to come up with payment for a trip to the international space station this fall, a spokesman said Monday.

Konstantin Kreidenko, spokesman for the agency, said that if payment is not received by Friday, Bass will not be permitted to take part in the mission, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 28.

The price tag for such a "space tourist trip" is said to be about $20 million.

Bass' supporters have blamed paperwork problems for the delay in transferring payment to Russia.

Bass, who is hoping to be the third tourist to travel to the station, has been training since July at Star City, the Russian cosmonaut center outside Moscow, with the aim of being part of a Russian crew going to the international space station in October.

Bass, 23, would be the youngest person yet in space.

Bass' supporters have blamed paperwork problems for the delay in transferring payment to Russia.

David Krieff, a Los Angeles television producer who plans a series about Bass' trip, said he has lined up three sponsors so far who have committed between $5 million and $15 million each.

Bass would be the third fee-paying enthusiast to blast into orbit after U.S. millionaire Dennis Tito and South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

The paid voyages are a significant source of income for the financially struggling Russian space program.

Russia's decision to accept Bass as a candidate alarmed U.S. space officials, who have expressed worries the pop idol may be ill-prepared for the flight.

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