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Still no final decision on Tito
Posted: Tue, Apr 17, 2001, 10:26 PM ET (0226 GMT)
Dennis Tito on a Russian zero-g plane, courtesy Space Adventures A meeting of International Space Station partners to discuss space tourist Dennis Tito's upcoming flight to the station was unexpectedly postponed Tuesday, putting off until at least Friday a final decision about his flight. A teleconference between NASA administrator Dan Goldin and his Russian counterpart, Yuri Koptev, to discuss the Tito situation was scheduled for Tuesday but was cancelled at the last minute, according to various news reports. No reason for the cancellation was given. The teleconference has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, although it could be delayed until next week. Officials planned to use the teleconference to reach a final decision regarding Tito's inclusion on the crew of a Soyuz spacecraft scheduled for launch April 28 that will dock with and spend a week at the station. While American, European, and Canadian officials argue that a nonprofessional like Tito should not visit the station at this time, Russians continue to back Tito's presence on the Soyuz crew. NASA, perhaps realizing that there may be little it can do to stop Tito's flight, are preparing for his visit to the station: the Associated Press reported Tuesday that NASA and the other ISS partners are investigating issues such what portions of the station he would have access to and who would be responsible if he broke something while on the station.
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