The first space traveller in the history of the planet has agreed to participate in yet another adventure. This time, he agrees to ride in Elon Musk’s Starship for a trip around the Moon. Dennis Tito, 82, who took a brief mission to the International Space Station 21 years ago, is no longer drawn to doing such flights. Tito will be 200 kilometres closer to the lunar far side after his week-long moonshot. Tito won’t be alone. Ten individuals, including his wife Akiko, are ready to pay a lot of money to travel around the moon.
But Tito understands that before Starship makes its first effort to go across space, there is still more testing and development to be done. If not for this trip, Tito told The Associated Press, ‘I may be sitting in a rocking chair, not doing any useful exercise’.
Tito’s First Space Flight
Tito launched space tourism in 2001, becoming the first person to travel to space on his own dime and upsetting NASA in the process. The US space agency did not want a tourist lingering around while the station was being constructed. But the Russian Space Agency needed the money, so over the 2000s it launched a number of affluent clientele to the station with the aid of the US-based Space Adventures.
The Moon Trip
According to Tito, the couple’s agreement with SpaceX, which was finalised in August 2021 and made public on Wednesday, contains an option for a trip within five years. Tito needed a way out in case his health declined by the time he was 87. In addition to currently being the oldest person in orbit, John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. ‘ He was just 77. Young man that he was. Tito added as he prepared to defy age stereotypes, I could end up being 10 years older than him’.
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