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Report: Tito cleared for flight to ISS
Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001, 12:28 AM ET (0528 GMT)
Dennis Tito on a Russian zero-g plane, courtesy Space Adventures CNN reported Friday evening that California millionaire Dennis Tito has been approved by Russia to fly to the International Space Station later this year, making him the first commercial space tourist. The report said that the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos will officially announce Saturday that Tito will be included in a crew that will fly to ISS in late April to swap the Soyuz spacecraft used by the station as lifeboats. Tito, along with cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Baturin, will spend about a week on the station. Tito had planned to fly this year to Mir in a $20 million deal arranged by MirCorp, but those plans were changed after Russia decided late last year to deorbit the station in March. NASA has reportedly argued against such a move, but the CNN report claims the American space agency has neither the will nor the authority to block the mission.
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