Checking in on Dice-K

Daisuke “Dice-K” Enomoto, the next orbital space tourist, appeared at a press conference Thursday in Houston along with members of Expedition 14, the next long-duration ISS crew. The press conference itself didn’t get much press attention, since the STS-121 shuttle mission to the ISS is in progress, but offers an overview. Briefly, he’s eager to experience weightlessness and take some pictures of the Earth and space while on the station. Also, “If all goes well, Enomoto says he would consider starting a business related to human space flight.”

However, all hasn’t necessarily been going well for Dice-K outside of his space training. The Japanese newspaper The Daily Yomiuri reports that Enomoto failed to report to Japanese tax authorities three billion yen ($26 million) in income earlier this decade and thus has been levied with 350 million yen ($3 million) in fines. That problem came up during the press conference Thursday, and Enomoto said, “I thought I didn’t have to pay [taxes] since I was staying abroad. However, I have since made the payments they requested.”

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