A Look Back at Space Tourism Version 1.0 as New Gaggle of Millionauts Prepares to Fly

The first space tourist, Dennis Tito, poses with Soyuz TM-32 crew mates Talgat Musabayev, and Yuri Baturin in 2001. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For eight years, they thundered aloft in cramped Russian spacecraft from a former Soviet spaceport in Kazakhstan, battling bureaucracy and gravity to blaze a trail across the heavens and redefine what it meant to be a space traveler. No longer would access to orbit be limited to highly trained astronauts chosen on merit and working on behalf of their nations; instead, space would be open to any sufficiently healthy people with enough money and moxie to qualify.

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Astronaut to Watch New Star Trek Film in Orbit

PARAMOUNT PICTURES PRESS RELEASE

Moviegoers likely will sit in crowded theaters to watch the new “Star Trek” movie, which premiered on May 8, but not NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. He will have the opportunity to watch the film aboard the International Space Station, while he and two crewmates fly 220 miles above Earth. The only thing missing will be the popcorn.

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