Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, buys two tickets from Elon Musk to travel around the Moon

The first person who paid a ticket to go to space has done it again. But this time he will change his destination: instead of going to the International Space Station he will go to the Moon. american businessman Dennis Titus will feel zero gravity again on the second commercial mission of SpaceX, the space company from Elon Musk. This time he will do it accompanied by Akiko Tito, his wife.

“Dennis and Akiko Tito are the first two crew members announced on Starship’s second commercial spaceflight around the Moon,” SpaceX said in a statement. The billionaire, who is now 82 years old, and his partner, 57, have special relevance for Musk’s company: “This will be Dennis’s second mission to space after becoming the first commercial astronaut to visit the International Space Station. in 2001, and Akiko will be among the first women to fly around the Moon in a Starship.”

Around the Moon, but without stepping on it

The space trip aboard the Starship rocket will last a week. During this time, the crew will fly 200 kilometers from the lunar surface, and in no case will there be a moon landing: they will pass close to the satellite and return to Earth.

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“This mission is really innovative in the sense that it puts us on a very firm step towards airline-like operations, where now, for the first time, you can buy an individual seat on the Moon,” Aarti said. Matthews, director of SpaceX starship crew and cargo programs, during the couple’s flight briefing.


Dennis Tito in 2001


It is not known how much money these two seats on the Starship rocket have cost. It is logical to think that the couple has left a large amount of money in this whim. And Tito, who has confessed to wanting to go to the Moon ever since he went into space for the first time, doesn’t care what others might think for wasting money on space flights and not doing anything to save the planet: “We are retired and Now is the time to reap the rewards of all the hard work.”

Back to space in five years

Tito made history in 2001 by becoming the first space tourist in history. Thanks to the Space Adventures agency, and all his money, he was able to participate in the Russian Sojuz TM-32 mission, which took him aboard the International Space Station, where he spent eight days.

At that time Dennis Tito was much younger. But age will not be an impediment, since both he and his wife have successfully passed the demanding physiological and psychological tests to be able to go to space.

But there is no date yet for this trip to take place, so it may be years before a date is set. According to Al Jazeera, the contract that the couple has signed includes a space flight for the next five years. In the worst case, Tito will be 87 years old.

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“We have to stay healthy for as many years as SpaceX needs to complete this vehicle,” Tito told Associated Press. And he has joked that this trip will help him maintain an active life: “He could be sitting in a rocking chair, not getting a good workout, if it weren’t for this mission.”

The billionaire sold Wilshire Associates, the investment firm he founded in 1972, two years ago. Since then, he has been quite bored and “looking for something to do” so that he can enjoy his retirement. And SpaceX has found it interesting: “I’ve been following SpaceX almost daily, watching YouTube for the last 5 years, and I could see there was an opportunity.”

There are still seats available

Crew of Crew-5

Crew-5 crew members

Space X

The Tito couple will not be alone on this flight. The couple only wanted to buy two tickets and leave the rest free for whoever wants and may have the chance to go to space. The rest of the crew will get to know each other over the next few months.

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This has not happened with the other two previously announced private Starship flights. Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who has experience with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, bought all the tickets for the first flight while Yusaku Maezawa did the same to bring artists.

For these two flights there is no date available either. In fact, the rocket has not yet been able to go into space, but Elon Musk has promised that the attempt that should be the final one will be made in November. Once achieved, more tests will have to be done without a crew. As if this were not enough, SpaceX is still waiting for the approval of the US federal regulatory authorities.

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Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, buys two tickets from Elon Musk to travel around the Moon