CAPE CANAVERAL -- A CNN spokesman confirms that the news network is in "very, very, very preliminary discussions" with Russian space officials about sending a reporter to the Mir space station.
Spokesman David Talley said Tuesday from CNN's headquarters in Atlanta that he's heard prices for a Mir visit ranging from $5 million to $15 million, but stressed that nothing has been negotiated, let alone finalized.
The Tokyo Broadcasting System paid the Soviets $12 million to send news director Toyohiro Akiyama on an eight-day Mir mission in December 1990. He was the first, and so far only, journalist to fly in space.
If everything works out, CNN most likely would send correspondent John Holliman, who covers NASA for the network. The selection would depend on the medical exams and flight training required by the Russians, Talley said.
Whoever is chosen would be launched from Kazakstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket, spend a week or more aboard Mir and then return to Kazakstan in a Soyuz capsule.
"I think everybody in their right mind would want to go up and report from space," Talley said. "It would be great for us to be able to report from space."
Original file name: CNI - CNN on MIR.final
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