Ready For Launch
Dennis Tito became the first space tourist over two decades ago, and he now has his sights set on the stars once again — with a trip around the moon.
The 82-year-old is working with Elon Musk's SpaceX to plan a weeklong trip to the moon for himself and his wife, Akiko. In an interview with CBS News, Tito said that he hopes to blast off with his wife and 10 other daring participants for a journey that The Associated Press reports will bring them within 125 miles of the far side of the moon.
Tito first made headlines in 2001 when he paid Russia $20 million to let him ride on a trip to the International Space Station. Tito journeyed to the station aboard Soyuz TM-32, making him the first self-funded tourist in space.
"I've been thinking about flying to the moon for the last 20 years, since my space flight," Tito told CBS News. "And here we were at SpaceX and they were interested in talking about a space flight. And I brought it up. And within a few minutes, we both were on board."
However, Tito said this next trip is still a ways away, though he hopes it will occur in the next five years.
"I know this rocket is going to be tested backwards and forwards; there'll be hundreds of flights before we're flying," Tito told Bloomberg in a separate interview. "We're not going to fly next year. It's going to be a wait."