First space tourist Dennis Tito books a ride on Starship
How would you like to go on a weeklong trip around the Moon aboard a spacecraft on your next holiday? Does that sound too far-fetched? Well, not to Dennis Tito, the first self-funded space tourist, his wife Akiko, and 10 others. They will be taken to our neighbor by SpaceX's yet-to-be-built Starship spacecraft. The mission will be Starship's second commercial mission around the Moon.
Why does this story matter?
- Dennis Tito is a name that is synonymous with space tourism. He will now take another flight which will raise his stature even further.
- All thanks to SpaceX. The collaboration between the company and Tito is expected to be one that changes the course of space tourism.
- Apart from creating history, Tito can have more fun this time, considering his wife will be there.
Tito and wife will join 10 others on the trip
SpaceX will take Tito and his wife on a trip around the Moon. They will join 10 others who are yet to sign up. They will board the company's Starship spacecraft on the trip. It will take place after the Polaris program, Starship's first human flight, and the dearMoon mission. A date is yet to be fixed for the venture.
He signed the agreement last year
Tito's trip around Moon aboard the Starship spacecraft came about during a tour of SpaceX. The two signed an agreement about going back to space a year ago. "The question came up, would I like to go back and fly in space? I thought about it and I said I would be interested in going to the Moon," he said.
Tito could become the oldest to be launched into orbit
Tito was the first orbital client of the space tourism company Space Adventures. In 2001, he went on his first mission to the International Space Station and became the first self-funded space tourist. He was 60 years old at the time. Now 82, Tito could become the oldest person to launch into orbit and fly around the Moon with the new mission.
What is special about Tito's upcoming Starship mission?
SpaceX's upcoming mission with Tito, his wife, and 10 unsigned passengers is significant. The 10 unreserved passengers are what differentiates this from SpaceX's other tourist missions. The Polaris and dearMoon, the company's two other private crewed Starship missions, have been fully bought out by a billionaire. This mission, on the other hand, is bankrolled by anyone. Hence, it expands the possibility of space tourism.
'SpaceX's goal is to make humanity multi-planetary'
"SpaceX's goal is to make humanity multi-planetary. How do we make spaceflight really accessible to a group of people that haven't traditionally been able to take advantage of that opportunity?" said Aarti Mathews, director of Starship cargo and crew programs. "This mission is a notable step toward that, where, instead of buying a whole mission, you can now buy a single seat," she added.