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Tito gets warm reception in L.A.
Posted: Fri, May 11, 2001, 12:04 AM ET (0404 GMT)
Dennis Tito on a Russian zero-g plane, courtesy Space Adventures Dennis Tito was greeted by friends, family, and dozens of space enthusiasts when he returned to Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon. The group, who included Tito's sons and girlfriend as well as L.A. mayor Richard Riordan, met Tito at the Los Angeles airport as he arrived on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow, three days after completing his historic flight to the International Space Station. In brief remarks at the reception, Tito encouraged NASA to reserve one seat on each of its future shuttle missions to fly private individuals from a wide cross-section of society, including artists, poets, and teachers, to better communicate the experience of spaceflight to the general public. Tito also said he planned to work now to "create an opportunity for people to fly into space," by encouraging the development of new launch vehicles that can lower the cost of space access and help grow the nascent space tourism industry. Riordan, a friend of Tito, declared Tito "the hero of L.A." and declared Wednesday Dennis Tito Day in the city.
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