28 Apr: The First Space Tourist

Dennis Tito, a 60 year-old investment manager from California, blasted into orbit onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on 28th April, 2001 – becoming the first ever private citizen to visit the International Space Station.

He had self-funded the trip, to the tune of $20 million – much to the displeasure of his former employers, NASA, who initially refused to provide him with any training.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider the social dynamics of the ISS; explain why NASA has flip-flopped about space tourism over the decades; and explore whether Tito’s trip was, in fact, money well spent… 

Further Reading:

• ‘World’s first space tourist 10 years on: Dennis Tito’ (BBC News, 2011): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13208329

• ‘First space tourist Dennis Tito: ‘It was the greatest moment of my life’ (CNN Travel, 2021): https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/space-tourism-20-year-anniversary-scn/index.html

• ‘Dennis Tito on the Late Show’ (CBS, 2001):

#2000s #Explorer #Space #Russia

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