LAST CALL: Bass to influence world from orbit?

Space tourism is almost boring now, as even 'N Sync singer Lance Bass now has a gig with the Russian space program.

Space tourism is almost boring now, as even 'N Sync singer Lance Bass now has a gig with the Russian space program.

But Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, was the real rock star. Last May, Tito paid $20 million to blast into space, and his PR agency, the Chicago office of The Dilenschneider Group, was overwhelmed by media interest - and unforeseen issues. "Everything we were e-mailing him or saying on the phone was monitored by the Russians, says Kim Shepherd, the firm's principal.

Like true PR pros, they used the lack of privacy to their advantage.

"We would purposely plant ideas, she said. The tactic was effective - but Shepherd would rather keep the details secret.

Watch out for ads for 'N Sync's next album mysteriously blanketing every satellite TV channel around the globe.

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