One DropCirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté blasted off for the International Space Station this morning aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule.

He’ll spend a week and a half in orbit on what he’s calling the first poetic social mission from space. The event will culminate in a 2-hour performance from space and around the world called Moving Stars and Earth for Water, to be webcast live on October 9 at

From the program on the web site:

The artistic core of the show will consist of a poetic tale written especially for the occasion by renowned novelist and Man-Booker Prize-winner Yann Martel. The tale will be gradually revealed as the program takes us through 14 cities around the world and will bring together personalities from different backgrounds such as Former U.S. Vice president Al Gore, U2, Tatuya Ishii, Peter Gabriel, Patrick Bruel, Shakira, A.R. Rahman, Julie Payette and many others who will join voices with Guy Laliberté to celebrate water.

This is an exciting moment for those of us with an artistic bent; one of our own gets to, in the words of pioneering commercial astronaut Mike Melvill “touch the face of God.” For the first time someone with the training, passion, and experience needed to do justice to the transformative power of the overview effect will have the opportunity to do so. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.