Meet Dennis Tito, world's first space tourist set to fly around the moon on Starship rocket
SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, said on Wednesday that the first space tourists, Dennis Tito and his wife Akiko, had signed up to ride the company's Starship rocket around the moon.
Tito, an 82-year-old engineer-turned-financial analyst, paid his own way to the International Space Station in 2001, onboard Russia's Soyuz TM-32 mission.
SpaceX's voyage will last about a week, and during that time the rocket will come within 200 kilometres of the moon's surface but will not land there.
The first members of the crew on Starship's second commercial journey around the moon are Tito and his wife.Starship
It is Tesla CEO Elon Musk's goal to use SpaceX's Starship to transport people and goods to the moon and Mars, but the company has not yet declared a launch date for the spacecraft. However, the wealthiest man on Earth has said that the maiden launch of the rocket into space might occur as soon as next month.
Who Is Dennis Tito?Starship
Dennis Tito is an American engineer and entrepreneur. When he participated in the ISS EP-1 mission in the middle of 2001, he became the first space tourist to pay for his own travel into space.Starship
New York University granted Dennis Tito a Bachelor of Science in Astronautics and Aeronautics in 1962, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, granted him a Master of Science in Engineering Science in 1964. During his time as an aeronautical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he oversaw the Mars Mariner 4 and 9 missions.Starship
After a brief stint in space exploration in the early 1970s, he switched gears and went into finance in 1972, when he co-founded the American investment company Wilshire Associates and developed the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index to track the performance of the American stock market. He is widely regarded as the pioneer in the use of mathematical tools—adapted from his experience in astronautics—to the analysis of financial market risks.Starship
Also, READ: Fingerprint-like dust rings spotted in space by NASA’s James Webb TelescopeStarship
Tito engaged with Moscow space agencies during the 1990s and paid $20 million to go to the space station Mir in 2001. His training at the Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia, started in 2000, but his mission was scrapped when Russia allowed the Mir space station to fall to Earth.Starship
Instead, on April 28, 2001, Tito embarked on a supply mission, Soyuz TM-32, to the International Space Station with two Russian cosmonauts, commander Talgat Musabayev and flight engineer Yury Baturin (ISS).Starship
(With inputs from Reuters)Starship