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    Kazakh astronaut to fly to ISS, Russian hopeful grounded

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    A Kazakh national will fly to the International Space Station in October 2009, a spokesman for the Kazakh National Space Agency said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - A Kazakh national will fly to the International Space Station in October 2009, a spokesman for the Kazakh National Space Agency said on Thursday.

    Talgat Musabayev said the Kazakh cosmonaut would fly to the "Russian segment" of the ISS, adding however, that "the financial components of the flight" had yet to be discussed at a meeting of a Russian-Kazakh commission.

    He also expressed his gratitude to the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

    Roscosmos earlier said a Russian space tourist hopeful would miss out on a trip to the stars in the autumn of 2009, with a Kazakh cosmonaut likely to take his place.

    The Russian space agency had announced in 2007 that businessman and politician Vladimir Gruzdev would become the country's first Russian space tourist.

    Gruzdev, a member of the ruling United Russia party, announced his plans to travel into space in April 2007. He later underwent a medical examination and was given the go-ahead to begin a space mission training program.

    Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the Russian parliament's lower house, earlier said United Russia could pay for Gruzdev's flight from party funds as a "contribution to the space program."

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