Space Tourist Launches Into History
Apr 28, 2001
The world's first space tourist today saw a dream become reality when he blasted off with a Russian crew from Khazakstan in Central Asia.
American Dennis Tito, who is reported to be paying USD$20 million for the trip, joined two Russian cosmonauts on a mission to the International Space Station.
The launch of the Russian Soyuz rocket took place on time at 07.37GMT and the flight is scheduled to reach the Space Station on Monday.
The historic launch marks a new chapter in space programs as Mr Tito became the first civilian to fly with professional cosmonauts.
In a pre-flight interview with CNN, 60-year-old Mr Tito, said: "This is not a vacation, [it's] the fulfillment of a life's dream to fly into space.
"Only 400 people have flown in space, so that is for me a privilege to be able to actually observe the Earth from outer space, circle the Earth you know once every 90 minutes."
The US Space Agency NASA had earlier objected to the Californian businessman and former NASA employee making the flight, but dropped its opposition earlier this week. It also emphasized his trip was a one-off event.
A television monitor inside the spaceship showed Tito grinning broadly. When a ground controller asked him how he felt, he replied in Russian "Khorosho," which means "great.
source: AirWise news.
Well the russians managed to get their first space tourist. He is now orbiting around earth for a neat price of $20 million! Well, what do you think of that?? Are we about to enter the space-age where tourists will be able to spend some days in a space station, or is will this be one of the last times.
Another question.. if you had the money would you do it??
I think I should, must be really great to be in space and look down on the earth.