World’s Fourth Space Tourist Forced to Scrub Mission, First Woman May Go Instead

Daisuke Enomoto (a.k.a. Dice-K), a former executive at LiveDoor, Japan’s leading internet service provider and web portal, had to cancel his plans to fly with two Russian cosmonauts in a on Expedition 14 to the International Space Station, which was set to lift off on Sept. 14, 2006.

Russian Federal Space Agency Spokesmen Igor Panarin said that Enomoto "was deemed not ready to fly for exclusively medical reasons," but also hinted that the he might be able to join a later mission in the future. Had Enomoto gone on the flight, he would have been the world’s third space tourist and the first, self-funded tourist from Japan and Asia. According to Wikipedia, television journalist Toyohiro Akiyama who flew on Soyuz TM-11 in 1990 was the first Japanese or Asian space tourist, although, because the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) funded the trip, he is more prevelantly regarded as the world’s first space business traveller.

Enomoto’s most likely replacement would be Iranian-born U.S. businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, President, Founder, and CEO of telecom technologies inc. If she makes this flight, Ansari would be the first female space tourist; if she does not, a third Russian cosmonaut will most likely take the open seat.