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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

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Space tourists queue up
Space shuttle Endeavour  AFP
Endeavour landed as Russia's Soyuz docked with the ISS
The US company which brokered Dennis Tito's flight into space has two more tourists ready to make the trip as early as October, Russian reports say.

The Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted Space Adventures vice-president Larry Ortega as saying his company had two more people ready to fly, one from Europe and one from south-east Asia.

One of them is likely to fly on the next Soyuz flight to the International Space Station in October.

"We are actively seeking people who have $20m, are interested in space travel and are ready to complete a six-month training course prior to the flight," he said.

"They will have to go through intensive training and learn Russian. But this is entirely feasible," he added.

Eating problems

The report came as Russian television said Mr Tito was enjoying his stay aboard the space station, but having trouble with the food.

Dennis Tito  AFP
Tito is reportedly having trouble with his food
"He likes the taste but at the moment he simply cannot master the art of swallowing food," it said.

Mr Tito said in a television interview that he was having a wonderful time in space.

"Weightlessness is a staggering experience. Things are amazing and incredible here in space.

Middle East view

"Five minutes ago we flew over Egypt and Israel. From the station, I saw ploughed fields and the border between those countries.

"I saw what man is doing on Earth," Mr Tito said.


Weightlessness is a staggering experience

Dennis Tito
Mr Tito arrived at the International Space Station on Monday, fulfilling a lifetime's ambition to go into orbit.

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

"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.

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.

Scientific beginning

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

Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, one of Endeavour's crew, said the mission had marked the beginning of scientific work on the station:

"Most missions have until now been exclusively involved in construction.

"Now the station can at last begin to be used for its intended research purposes," he said.

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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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