Livin' It A soccer mom kicks back and talks about her battle with a pop star for a $20 million ride into outer space

May 26, 2002

In an age-old face-off that pits Mom against rock and roll, Lori
Garver and Lance Bass are vying to become the world's third
space tourist. A 41-year-old suburban Virginia mother of two who
once worked as a NASA administrator, Garver hopes she will be
selected to fly with the Russians on their autumn launch to the
international space station Alpha. Her main competition for a
trip on the space capsule Soyuz is Bass, the 23-year-old *NSync
singer. Both hope to get corporations to cough up $20
million--the going rate for the 11-day flight. SI caught up with
Garver as she prepared to leave for Moscow for medical exams.

SI: So, Lance Bass. Do you hate him?

LG: No, I'm a big fan. I had a gallstone, and I had to have my
gallbladder removed to take a centrifuge test for the mission.
When I was in the hospital, he sent me a big bouquet of roses.

SI: What's your favorite *NSync song?

LG: Space Cowboy.

SI: What CDs do you plan to take into space?

LG: Elton John's Honky Chateau, which has Rocket Man, Bowie's
Space Oddity, some *NSync, some Stones, some Beatles....

SI: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?

LG: Definitely.

SI: You're an aerobics instructor. Will you teach microgravity
aerobics on the Soyuz?

LG: I want to try yoga and Pilates in space. For exercise, the
station has treadmills with bungee cords to hold you down.

SI: Do you look forward to sucking down Silly Putty meals from
Brylcreem tubes?

LG: Space food is all dehydrated now. You just add water and
stir. Or knead.

SI: In 1985 French astronaut Patrick Baudry was so revolted by
the Discovery's offering of chicken a la king that he brought
crab mousse, lobster americain and jugged hare a l'alsacienne.
Are you planning to smuggle anything aboard?

LG: I'm going to do what I'm told and be thrilled for the chance.

SI: Not even a Mars bar?

LG: It's possible. I will absolutely take food from companies
that sponsor me. Mars bars work in space. What doesn't is food
that crumbles and floats away.

SI: Like, say, Moon Pies?

LG: Moon Pies are sticky, and sticky still works. --Franz Lidz

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID BRANDT Alpha Female Garver hopes to bring Bass's music, but not the singer himself (above, right), aboard the space station. COLOR PHOTO: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES [See caption above] COLOR PHOTO: NASA/ROGER RESSMEYER/CORBIS [See caption above]