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Geldof to be first Irishman in space

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Geldof - "Not only a fantastic honour but pretty mind-blowing"

He has already achieved many things in his life, but now it seems Bob Geldof is set to become the first Irish person in space.

The Boomtown Rats frontman and activist is to be one of the first ever astronauts on the Space XC commercial service next year.

"Being the 'First Irishman in Space' is not only a fantastic honour but pretty mind-blowing," the 61-year-old said. "Who would have thought it possible in my lifetime?"

Before he travels on the $100,000 per person flight, Geldof will have to undergo training, which he will begin in the space flight simulator in Holland this weekend.

SXC intends to fly space tourists to the edge of space from the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. The passengers will get to experience weightlessness aboard the Lynx X2 aircraft.

Geldof was due to travel into space on a Soyuz rocket many years ago. However, just as he was due to begin training the Soviet Union broke up and the deal with the Russian space programme fell apart.

Geldof has remained interested in travelling into space since then. The backers of Space XC subsequently learned this and offered him a seat on their first flight next year.

A spokesman for Geldof said a date has not been fixed for the flight, but it is expected to be in the third quarter of 2014.

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