Circus billionaire hosts show aboard space station

Oct 11, 2009
Canada's first space tourist, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, gives closing remarks during his TV/Internet show from the International Space Station as seen on a screen at the Montreal performance Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 in Montreal. Laliberte, right, appears with from left: Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk, Nicole Stott and Jeff Williams, of the USA, Frank DeWinne, from the European Space Agency, and Maxim Surayev, from Russia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press - Paul Chiasson)

(AP) -- Canadian space tourist and circus billionaire Guy Laliberte mixed star power, science lectures, music and poetry in hosting a show from the International Space Station that was broadcast on television and the Internet.

People from around the world tuned in on Friday to the Cirque du Soleil founder, who brought his crusade to preserve the world's water resources down to Earth from his host's chair on the .

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, U2 and Shakira were among the parade of entertainers and activists who participated back on Earth with acts performing in 14 cities on five continents.

The show was aimed at raising awareness for Laliberte's One Drop Foundation, which seeks to draw attention to the growing shortage of clean water.

One of the most anticipated segments of the evening was a chat between Laliberte and Bono, who was performing with U2 at a concert in Tampa, Fla.

"You are the first clown in space and we think it's a great idea for you to give us your perspective on our little planet while you're not on our little planet and instead looking down on it," Bono said. "How do we look from there, how does our little planet look, Guy?"

Laliberte replied that "planet Earth looks so great but also so fragile."

The event combined live and taped segments. Production costs for the multilingual show are estimated at between $6 million and $10 million - which is on top of the $35 million Laliberte paid to become Canada's first .

It was seen on the Internet beginning at 8 p.m EDT; 0000 GMT through the One Drop Foundation's Web site: http://www.onedrop.org .

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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