Entrepreneur Dennis Tito was the first Earthling to pay for a space trip in 2001. More than twenty years later, he wants to do it again. The American said on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, that he intended to participate with his wife in a future mission around the Moon organized by the American company SpaceX. Tito told reporters that what drove him to renew the experience was his passion for “space and the opportunities it offers humanity”.
A mission to the moon… without landing there
The one-week mission, which Dennis Tito and Akiko, his wife, were to take part in, plans to fly 200 km from the surface of the Moon before returning to Earth. It will take place when Elon Musk has completed the prototype of his Starship spacecraft and completed an already planned first commercial flight with a Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa. Of the 12 available seats, the Tito couple reserved two, unlike Yusaku Maezawa, who reserved the entire flight organized by SpaceX.
Dennis and Akiko Tito are the first two crew members on Starship’s second commercial spaceflight around the Moon → https://t.co/z2Z9iVGw8x pic.twitter.com/07RHJlb6Dc
—SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12 October 2022
SpaceX’s Starship will be the lander that will return astronauts to the Moon
Dennis Tito, 82, did not specify the amount paid to take the trip with Akiko, but in 2001 he had paid $20 million to fly aboard a Russian rocket to the International Space Station (ISS), ushering in the era of space tourism. . SpaceX has not yet announced when it will begin commercial space missions aboard Starship.
The Starship rocket is the one Elon Musk intends to use to one day allow humans to settle on Mars. NASA, for its part, has chosen to bet on Starship being the lander used as part of its Artemis program to return to the Moon. The Artemis 3 mission, which will therefore involve the version of the Starship called Starship HLS (for “human landing system”), should take place in 2025 or 2026.