2nd Space Tourist Cleared for Trip

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl.?Another rich adventure-seeker is headed to the international space station. This time, though, the astronauts on board won’t have to baby-sit him.

To the relief of the three men living on the space station, NASA has given its blessing to the visit by South African millionaire Mark Shuttleworth, who is part of a crew of cosmonauts due to lift off aboard a Russian rocket Thursday from Kazakhstan.

It is an about-face from a year ago, when America’s space agency shunned California businessman Dennis Tito, the world’s first paying space tourist. The two NASA astronauts on board the space station were under strict orders not to hug Tito in front of the cameras and had to make sure he did not venture alone into the U.S. compartments.

Like Tito, Shuttleworth is paying the Russian space program about $20 million for a Soyuz seat and an eight-day, seven-night space station cruise.