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Tito cautious about space tourism prospects
Posted: Tue, Jan 29, 2002, 9:04 AM ET (1404 GMT)
Dennis Tito at NASM (J. Foust) Dennis Tito, the California businessman who became the first commercial space tourist last year, believes that space tourism will gradually increase, but has no plans to get more involved in the field. Speaking at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington on Saturday, Tito said that it should be possible to grow space tourism beyond the current 1-2 passengers a year in the near future with some private investment to build more Soyuz spacecraft or a small private space station. He said that the cost of flying into orbit could drop from the estimated $20 million he paid to a few million, provided a reusable launch vehicle can be developed to reduce the cost of space access. However, he dismissed the prospects of suborbital space tourism, calling such flights "joyrides". He also said that, despite his financial background and high net worth, he has no time to get involved in the "space exploration business."
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