Source Pravda.Ru

1st space tourist in Russia again

Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, is in Moscow. He met with his Russian colleagues who he flew to the International Space Station (ISS) with and representatives of the Federal Space Agency.

"It was a private and informal meeting, business matters were not discussed," Alexander Tarasevich, the Russian representative of Space Adventures, the American company that organized Mr. Tito's visit, told RIA Novosti.

Since 1999, the company has been officially working with the Federal Space Agency (formerly Rosaviakosmos), to select candidates for short space flights to the ISS.

According to Mr. Tarasevich, Mr. Tito met with Talgat Musabayev, his former commander, and flight engineer Yury Baturin in a friendly atmosphere.

A spokesman for the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems said that the deputy chief of the space agency's international department, Alexei Krasnov, the chief of the foreign economic activity department of Energia Space Rocket Corporation, Alexander Derechin, and the head of the institute's department that selects cosmonauts, Yury Voronkov, were also at the meeting.

During his ten-day visit to Russia, Mr. Tito plans to spend a week in St. Petersburg with his young Russian wife Lyudmila. He also intends to discuss some business matters, including the possibility of investing in the development of a Russian spaceship for suborbital space tourism.

He also plans to visit and encourage Gregory Olsen, who on June 22 was barred from flying to the ISS.

Mr. Olsen was to go on a week flight to the ISS on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April 2005 as a member of a crew of experienced Russian cosmonauts.

Mr. Tito, an aerospace engineer who worked on the programs for the American Mariner interplanetary stations, went to the ISS in 2001. At the time, he was 60. Mark Shuttleworth from South Africa, who flew to the ISS in 2002, became the second space tourist.