By Stephen M. Silverman
May 20, 2002 11:00 AM

‘N Sync singer Lance Bass, 23, has undergone a surgical procedure in a Los Angeles hospital to correct an irregular heartbeat that could have disqualified him from hopping a seat aboard a Russian rocket flight to the International Space Station, Bass’s spokeswoman, Jill Fritzo, told Reuters. The heart condition was “not even remotely life-threatening,” Fritzo told the news service. “It’s something he had wanted to correct for a long time, but being that he’s planning to go into space, it prompted him to move it up a bit.” She did not provide further details. ‘N Sync recently finished up its concert tour schedule and Bass has already high-tailed it to the cosmonaut-training center in Russia’s Star City, where he will undergo further medical tests, Fritzo said. Should doctors there give him the all-clear signal, Bass will commence a rigorous training program prior to this fall’s anticipated space launch from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. Bass plans to be the third such space tourist, after American businessman Dennis Tito and South African magnate Mark Shuttleworth. The cost of a seven- to eight-day voyage is said to be $20 million, which Bass reportedly would offset by turning his experience into a TV special. David Krieff, president of Destiny Productions, which is organizing corporate sponsors to underwrite Bass’s trip, informed Reuters: “He’s looking great. He’s going to pass all the tests.”

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