First space tourist of world books ride for the moon with wife

Billionaire Elon Musk SpaceX said Wednesday that the world's first space tourist Dennis Tito and his wife Akiko have pledged to fly around the moon in the space exploration firm's Starship rocket.

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Engineer turned financial analyst Tito, 82, was the first private person to pay for a space journey on the Russian Soyuz TM-32 mission in 2001 where he spent almost eight days onboard the International Space Station.

The one-week voyage of the SpaceX flight will see the rocket travel less than 200 kilometers from the moon without landing on its surface.

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Tito and his wife are the first crew members to be announced for the second commercial space flight around the moon.

SpaceX has not announced a date for the launch of Starship, the focal point of Tesla CEO Musk’s ambition to transport humans and shipments to the Moon and Mars. However, the wealthiest person in the world said that he intended to launch the rocket into orbit for the first time next month.

A handful of companies, including SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson, are focused on making space travel a reality, whereas Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin currently offers suborbital rides that reach an altitude of around 350,000 feet (106 km).

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