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ISS crew says they'd welcome Tito aboard
Posted: Sat, Mar 31, 2001, 1:40 PM ET (1840 GMT)
Dennis Tito on a Russian zero-g plane, courtesy Space Adventures The three members of the Expedition Two crew aboard the International Space Station said Friday they would welcome California millionaire Dennis Tito if visits the station in a month. In a series of interviews, the two Americans and one Russian on board the station said that they would have no problems if Tito is included in the crew of a Soyuz spacecraft that will dock with ISS at the end of April. "We are absolutely going to welcome anybody who is on the other side of a hatch that we open from any visiting vehicle and we're not going to worry about the things that happen on the ground and the discussions that have taken place," Susan Helms told CBS Radio. Tito has been at the center of a months-long controversy regarding his $20 million flight to the station as the first commercial space tourist. The controversy flared up earlier in the month when Tito was not allowed to train with his Russian crewmates at NASA's Johnson Space Center, triggering a one-day walkout by the Soyuz crew. Russian and American officials have been meeting for the last week to discuss policy and regulations for "non-professional" station visitors like Tito, and NASA administrator Dan Goldin and his Russian counterpart, Yuri Koptev, are scheduled to meet next week to discuss the recommendations made by those working groups.
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