World's first space tourist plans flight around the moon with wife aboard SpaceX Starship - WWAYTV3 (2022)

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World's first space tourist plans flight around the moon with wife aboard SpaceX Starship - WWAYTV3 (1)

(CBS NEWS) — Dennis Tito, an 82-year-old aerospace engineer-turned-financial analyst who paid Russia $20 million for a trip to the International Space Station in 2001, is working with SpaceX on plans to take his wife on what amounts to a belated honeymoon voyage to the moon.

In an interview with “CBS Mornings,” Tito said he and his wife of two years want to fly on Elon Musk’s futuristic Starship for the sheer adventure of it. They also want to inspire senior citizens who might think their horizons are increasingly limited.

And they want to play a part in humanity’s initial steps out into the solar system.

“I’ve been thinking about flying to the moon for the last 20 years, since my space flight,” Tito said. “And here we were at SpaceX (recently) and they were interested in talking about a space flight. And I brought it up. And within a few minutes, we both were on board.”

In an interview Monday at SpaceX’s sprawling Starship development complex near Brownsville, Texas, Tito and his wife Akiko, 57, said they hope to blast off with 10 other yet-to-be-named passengers, booked by SpaceX, within the next five years or so — after the rocket completes aseries of test flights.

“We will be able to watch the Earth get smaller, and smaller and smaller, and the moon get larger, and larger and larger,” Tito said, describing the planned trajectory. “We will then, upon emerging from the far side of the moon, see the Earth” from a perspective only the Apollo astronauts have enjoyed to date.

“We will be literally out of this world,” he said.

As it now stands, their voyage presumably would follow two other piloted flights of the Super Heavy/Starship rocket: one to Earth orbit, possibly with billionaire Jared Isaacman, who funded thefirst private orbital flightaboard a Crew Dragon capsule in 2021; and an around-the-moon flight chartered by Japanese entrepreneurYusaku Maezawa.

It’s not known when those missions might get off the ground or how much they might cost. Likewise, Tito would not discuss how much he’ll be paying for two seats aboard the Starship.

Whatever the amount, it’s obviously worth it to a manwho describedhis space station visit two decades ago as “100 percent enjoyment,” adding “I’ve been thinking about it every day since.”

“One of the things I hope to do, we both hope to do, is inspire people that as we get older, there are so many things we still can do,” Tito said. “And flying in space actually is a lot easier than a lot of other things. I mean, I’m beyond the age of skiing, but space is a lot easier than that.”

Said Akiko Tito, a real estate investor and jet pilot: “Like Dennis said, I think age is just a number. We just want to inspire people and especially me, inspire women, you know, young women (who) want to become a pilot in the future, want to become astronaut. You know, work hard and make it happen.”

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner, then 90, set theage recordlast year when heflew to the edge of spaceaboard a sub-orbital New Shepard spacecraft from Blue Origin. The oldest person to reach orbit was the late John Glenn, who was 77 when he flew aboard a space shuttle in 1998.

Tito could be nearing 90 himself when he finally gets his Starship flight, but he told “CBS Mornings” correspondent Janet Shamlian he’s in better shape now than when he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to become the first so-called space tourist.

“I am probably in better physical shape than I was 21 years ago,” he said, “because I’ve taken up weightlifting in a serious way. And I wasn’t able then to manage the kind of weight I can manage now. So I think I’m in better shape.”

But realizing it could be several years before he blasts off aboard the as-yet-untried Starship, he says they’re “upping our physical fitness activities and health monitoring to really make sure that we’re going to be in shape for many years into the future.” The regimen includes weight training along with walking and running on a quarter-mile track outside his house. The couple also has a Pilates studio.

“We’re not counting on (launching) next year,” Tito said. “So we have to stay in good shape, which is a great motivational thing for us because a lot of people when they reach my age, you know, will sit in a rocking chair and wait for the inevitable.”

Akiko Tito said she started working out on a daily basis 20 years ago and now trains for beauty and fitness competitions that focus on “total physical fitness. And then you have to be elegant as well at the same time.”

She said she had no hesitation about joining her husband for a flight to the moon. “We want to make it happen together, as a couple,” she said.

Born in Tokyo, Akiko Tito holds a degree in economics and moved to New York in 1995 to work on Wall Street while raising a daughter. She and Tito were married in 2020 during theCOVID-19pandemic.

“So we didn’t have a chance really to have a honeymoon,” Tito said. Then, laughing, he added, “so maybe this is our honeymoon.”

The 394-foot-tall Starship will be the world’s most powerful rocket when it finally takes off, generating a staggering 16 million pounds of thrust from the 33 methane-burning Raptor engines powering its “Super Heavy” first stage — twice the liftoff thrust of NASA’s $4.1 billion Space Launch Systemmoon rocket.

SpaceX’s upper stage — the Starship — is equipped with six Raptor engines and will be capable of carrying passengers and payloads to the moon and beyond. Both stages are fully reusable and will descend to tail-first landings back on Earth using similar software and techniques perfected using the company’s smaller Falcon 9 rockets.

The Starship upper stage has beenlaunched seven timeson low-altitude test flights, four of which suffered catastrophic failures during the landing sequence. The most recent test flight in May 2021 was fully successful.

“Every time a rocket explodes, you learn something,” Tito said. “So the more rocket explosions we see, the better because then we’ll get all the bugs out of it.”

The Super Heavy first stage has not yet been launched. SpaceX is in the process of testing its engines and other critical systems before a test flight to boost an unpiloted Starship into orbit for the first time, possibly before the end of the year.

SpaceX already holds a $2.9 billion NASA contract to develop a variant of the Starship to serve as the initial lunar lander in the agency’s Artemis moon program.

Under the current plan, astronauts launched aboard NASA’s third piloted SLS rocket will dock with a Starship in lunar orbit and descend to touchdown near the moon’s south pole in the 2025-26 timeframe. SpaceX is required to carry out an unpiloted test flight, complete with moon landing, before that Artemis 3 mission.

Whether SpaceX can perfect the huge rocket and test it to NASA’s satisfaction by 2025-26 remains to be seen.

SpaceX does not provide details about its schedule and it’s not known how the NASA mission will fit in with the company’s plans to launch the other two currently planned Starship missions before Tito and his wife get their turn.

Isaacman, who funded the firstprivate flight, Inspiration 4,to low-Earth orbit in September 2021, has announced plans for three more private missions with SpaceX, including one that will feature the first spacewalk by a private citizen.

Billionaire entrepreneur and art collector Maezawa, founder of ZoZotown, one of Japan’s largest retail websites, also has booked a Super Heavy/Starship flight to carry him and several companions on the first privately-funded flight around the moon.

Tito’s flight presumably will follow Maezawa’s, but it’s not known whether one or both will precede NASA’s lunar landing mission or whether Tito will get his wish within five years as hoped.

“We’re prepared to wait as long as it takes to get everything perfected,” Tito said.

Categories: DISTRACTION, News, US

Tags: Dennis Tito, Elong Musk, Flight, Space, SpaceX, Starship


Who is world's first space tourist? ›

Few people had heard of aerospace engineer and financial analyst Dennis Tito before 2001. That was the year Tito, then 60, became the first paying space tourist, cutting a $20 million check to Russia to fly aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and spend a week aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Is Dennis Tito married? ›

What was the effect of Tito's journey to space? ›

"It was eight days of euphoria," he says. "I just enjoyed looking at the window, videoing the earth, the portholes, the station. It was just wonderful," Tito recalls. "It just was -- whatever I had expected, the best I had expected times 10.

When did space tourism started? ›

Since the flight of the world's first space tourist, American businessman Dennis Tito, on April 28, 2001, space tourism has gained new prominence as more suborbital and orbital tourism opportunities have become available.

Can you take a trip to space? ›

SpaceX are also starting to sell tickets on their Crew Dragon capsule, which is the launch system NASA is using to shuttle astronauts to the ISS. These are not generally available, but a 3 day mission consisting entirely of tourists is planned for 2021, with further missions expected in 2022.

Which country has first space? ›

The first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. The first human to go into space, Yuri Gagarin, was launched, again by the Soviet Union, for a one-orbit journey around Earth on April 12, 1961.

How long is a trip to space? ›

It can take anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days to get to the International Space Station, depending on the spacecraft and mission profile. It took the Apollo astronauts about three days to get to the Moon. Although the Moon is much farther away than the ISS, the Apollo spacecraft travelled more directly and quickly.

What animal went to space first? ›

The first animal to make an orbital spaceflight around the Earth was the dog Laika, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on 3 November 1957.

Has alcohol been consumed in space? ›

Alcoholic drinks are generally disallowed in spaceflight, but space agencies have previously allowed its consumption. NASA has been stricter about alcohol consumption than the Roscosmos, both according to regulations and in practice. Astronauts and cosmonauts are restricted from being intoxicated at launch.

How much does it cost to be a space tourist? ›

Even NASA, which was once hostile to space tourism, has come around and released a pricing policy for private astronaut missions, offering to bring someone to orbit for around $55 million. Okay, so it's a new era—but what does it mean?

How can I go to space? ›

While the only way up to space is via a rocket, there are two ways to come back down: via a winged vehicle, like the space shuttle or Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, or via a capsule, like Apollo, Soyuz, and Blue Origin's New Shepard.

What is Tito net worth? ›

What is this? As of November 2022, Tito Ortiz's net worth is $20 million, and he is one of the richest MMA fighters in the world.

How many tourists go to space? ›

263 individuals from 20 countries have visited the International Space Station.

Who was the first private citizen in space? ›

Dennis Anthony Tito (born August 8, 1940) is an American engineer and entrepreneur. In mid-2001, he became the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space, when he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station.

Can you buy a ticket to space? ›

Richard Branson who owns Virgin Galactic kicked off space tourism in 2021 with the billionaire himself taking the first trip. The spaceflight company has now opened ticket sales for anyone interested in taking a space trip. There are a total of 1,000 tickets up for grabs and each ticket costs ₹$450,000.

Can you buy a ticket into space? ›

How much is a seat on Virgin Galactic? $450,000. Here's what each trip includes. Virgin Galactic will soon sell tickets for space trips to the public.

Has Elon Musk been space? ›

Only Musk knows why he hasn't gone to space, and he's a hard person to reach.

What country is known for space? ›

1. United States of America (NASA/USSF) With a budget nearly twice that of the next-highest agency, the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is easily the most prolific and active space agency in the world.

How many countries are in space? ›

Six government space agencies—the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the (US) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Russian State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" ...

What was the first thing in space? ›

In 1949, the "Bumper-WAC" became the first human-made object to enter space as it climbed to an altitude of 393 kilometers (244 miles). The rocket consisted of a JPL WAC Corporal missile sitting atop a German-made V-2 rocket.

How long is 1 hour on space? ›

One hour on Earth is 0.0026 seconds in space.

Thus, upon calculation we find that one hour on Earth is equivalent to seven years in space. Einstein's theory of Special Relativity stands as a explanation to this calculation.

How much does Elon Musk charge in space? ›

'Less than $10 million' per launch.

Can I go to Mars? ›

The trip to Mars will take about seven months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). During that journey, engineers have several opportunities to adjust the spacecraft's flight path, to make sure its speed and direction are best for arrival at Jezero Crater on Mars.

Is Laika the dog still in space? ›

Laika, a Moscow street dog, became the first creature to orbit Earth, but she died in space.

What was the first animal? ›

The First Animals

Sponges were among the earliest animals. While chemical compounds from sponges are preserved in rocks as old as 700 million years, molecular evidence points to sponges developing even earlier.

Has a dog been to space? ›

Dogs. A number of dogs have gone into space under the former Soviet Union. The most well-known was Laika in 1957.

Can you drink Coca Cola in space? ›

Coke became the first soft drink to be consumed in outer space, when astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger tested the “Coca-Cola Space Can” on July 12, 1985. The Coca-Cola Company also installed the 'Space Dispenser' on the Space Shuttle Discovery, which was the first soft drink equipment to be used in space.

What happens if you drink Coke in space? ›

The bubbles of carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages aren't buoyant in a weightless environment, so they remain randomly distributed throughout the fluid, even after swallowing. This means that carbonated beverages including soft drinks and beer may become a foamy mess during space travel.

Is beer allowed in space? ›

Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa's Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due to impacts their compounds can have on the station's water recovery system.”

Do you age in space? ›

Scientists have recently observed for the first time that, on an epigenetic level, astronauts age more slowly during long-term simulated space travel than they would have if their feet had been planted on Planet Earth.

How much do space ships cost? ›

This also includes $444 million in construction costs to build out the shuttle's production, launch, and processing facilities. Adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars, NASA spent approximately $49 billion to develop and launch the first space shuttle.
How Much Did it Cost to Create the Space Shuttle?
STS ComponentOriginal $2020 $
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How much is a ticket to Mars? ›

Elon Musk said that a $100,000 hypothetical price point for a ticket on his shuttles to Mars should be affordable for most people. Musk's company SpaceX plans to build a self-sustaining city on the red planet in the coming decades.

How cold is space? ›

Space is very, very cold. The baseline temperature of outer space is 2.7 kelvins (opens in new tab) — minus 454.81 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 270.45 degrees Celsius — meaning it is barely above absolute zero, the point at which molecular motion stops.

Why is space silent? ›

In space, no one can hear you scream. This is because there is no air in space – it is a vacuum. Sound waves cannot travel through a vacuum. 'Outer space' begins about 100 km above the Earth, where the shell of air around our planet disappears.

Why is space fun? ›

Astronauts often comment on their fascination and awe as they look at Earth spin beneath them with its multiple shades and textures. Sunsets and sunrises are also very spectacular, occurring every 45 minutes above Earth's atmosphere. Aboard the space station, crew members have many opportunities to relax and play.

Can any country go to space? ›

The treaty is the foundation of international space law for signatory nations (108 in 2019). The treaty presents principles for space exploration and operation: Space activities are for the benefit of all nations, and any country is free to explore orbit and beyond.

Can astronauts have tattoos? ›

Myths about astronaut requirements

As a teenager, I was told that getting a tattoo would mean I could never be an astronaut. This is not at all true. In fact, some Apollo astronauts were given tattoos– small dots to show where defibrillator pads should be placed in case of a medical emergency.

Can I launch myself to space? ›

So it's legal to blast yourself into space in the same sense that it's legal to drive or to open a business. It might be generally encouraged in the US, but that doesn't mean it's legal to just do it. You need a permit from the FAA.

› Advice ›

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Who is the first space tourist in India? ›

Santhosh George Kulangara was the first Indian selected to be a paid space tourist by Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic in 2007. With Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson's recent suborbital space flights, the concept of space tourism has gripped the interest of the world.

Who are the 4 space tourists? ›

The vehicle: SpaceX's Crew Dragon

Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Hayley Arceneaux, Dr. Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman.

Who is the first woman space tourist? ›

On board the flight to the International Space Station are Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and the first woman space tourist, Iranian-born Anousheh Ansari.

Who is the first woman space tourist in India? ›

Her first space mission began on 19 November 1997, as part of the six-astronaut crew that flew the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87. Chawla was the first Indian woman to go in space. She spoke the following words while traveling in the weightlessness of space, "You are just your intelligence."

Where is India's first space park? ›

Detailed Solution. The Kerala government will set up India's first space tech park at Thiruvananthapuram's Knowledge City. The move is aimed at making the city a manufacturing hub for space-related technology.

Has Elon Musk been space? ›

Only Musk knows why he hasn't gone to space, and he's a hard person to reach.

How much does it cost to fly to space? ›

Space Tourism

For a suborbital trip on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and Blue Origin's New Shepard, seats typically cost $250,000 to $500,000. Flights beyond that to actual orbit—a much higher altitude—are far more expensive, fetching more than $50 million per seat.

Did 4 people enter space? ›

It becoming the first crewed orbital mission with no professional astronauts on board. named to commemorate the four-person crew and their associated "pillars" of support for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee: leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.

Who is a first woman? ›

Lilith, The Legend of the First Woman is a 19th-century rendition of the old rabbinical legend of Lilith, the first woman, whose life story was dropped unrecorded from the early world, and whose home, hope, and Eden were passed to another woman.

Has a woman gone to the moon? ›

Unfortunately, no woman has visited the Moon. At the time of Apollo (1969-72), there were no women in the U.S. astronaut corps.

› wiki › Space_tourism ›

Space tourism › wiki › Space_tourism › wiki › Space_tourism
Space tourism is human space travel for recreational purposes. There are several different types of space tourism, including orbital, suborbital and lunar space...

Space tourism › entry › Space_t... › entry › Space_t...
Space tourism (or spaceflight) is the recent phenomenon of tourists paying for flights into space. As of 2008, orbital space tourism opportunities are limited a...
The relatively recent rise of companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin has opened up the very realistic prospect of becoming a space tourist. Howe...

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