Date: 2nd May 2001
LATEST: Hollywood film-maker JAMES CAMERON has confirmed he will be jetting off to space - but is refusing to make any deals until certain criteria have been met.
The TITANIC (1997) director is eager to make the trip, but insists safety and training protocols for non-professional astronauts be carried out first by America's NASA space agency, the RUSSIAN AVIATION AND SPACE AGENCY and other partners.
NASA officials say they could finish the protocols as early as June (01). The film-maker says he hopes to portray the dramas and the mundane aspects of daily life in space.
Cameron says, "People would love to see what it is like to get up in the morning, put on your socks and go to work in weightlessness." Cameron adds that he wants to renew public interest in NASA and spur attention internationally to the space station through the eye of the artist.
A Russian official says if Cameron signs a deal to fly on a Russian rocket, he would need to undergo extensive training; the earliest he make his journey into space would be the end of 2002. (RGS/LADN/MCM)