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The BBC's Valerie Jones
For Dennis Tito, it was a dream made real
 real 56k

'Space tourist' Dennis Tito
celebrates with the crew of the ISS
 real 56k

The BBC's Jacky Rowland in Moscow
"He's getting used to floating around without bumping into anything"
 real 28k

Dennis Tito talks to the world's media
"It goes well beyond anything I would have ever dreamed"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
'Others will follow' says space tourist
Space tourist Dennis Tito
Tito has promised to pay for any breakages
No-one likes to be sick on their holiday, but for space tourist Dennis Tito it is something he is more than prepared to put up with.


...everyone has been fantastic

Dennis Tito
The 60-year-old, who arrived at the International Space Station on Monday, fulfilling a lifetime's ambition to go into orbit, admitted to feeling quite queasy during his flight to the platform.

"Once we got into orbit, it was just unbelievable, to see the Earth from above and the black sky. I felt surprisingly well," Tito told CNN television in a link-up.

"Then, I think I got a little overconfident and I drank some juice and had some dried fruit, which didn't agree with me, and I had my first bout with space sickness. I learned that I have to be careful."

Safety drills

Despite his brief illness, the California financier and former space scientist said the trip had been well worth the price tag, and he said he hoped others would follow in his footsteps.

ISS AFP
Tito said everyone on the ISS had made him welcome
"Unfortunately, it's very expensive at this point, but there are others who can afford it and I would like to encourage it," he said.

Tito's trip has not pleased the US space agency, Nasa, who believe the presence of an amateur on the embryonic platform could compromise safety. The agency will not let its former employee visit American sections of the ISS unaccompanied.

"...everyone has been fantastic," Tito said. "[American astronauts] Jim Voss and Susan Helms have just gone out of their way to show me around, give me some safety drills," he added.

Landing diverted

Back on Earth, rain and wind in Florida forced the space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-man crew to change their landing plans.

After installing a billion-dollar robot arm on the International Space Station, the shuttle had been set to come down at Cape Canaveral in Florida, where the crew's families were waiting to welcome them back.

But poor weather on the East Coast meant Endeavour was diverted to the back-up landing strip at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave desert in California.

This was the second time in three months that a space shuttle was diverted to Edwards because of bad weather: Atlantis ended up there in February, also following a space station construction mission.

The final leg of the journey - from California to Florida atop a jumbo - will cost an estimated $1m.

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See also:

30 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
'I love space' says pioneer tourist
27 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Profile: Tito the spaceman
27 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Nasa extends shuttle mission
24 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Space tourist gets go-ahead
27 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Who rules the roost on ISS?
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