Monday, July 26, 2004

Jules Verne:

Last Wednesday Taylor Dinerman had an article in the Wall Street Journal (Pg.D14, Col. 4) on the space tourism issue. He brought up the point that several non-Space agency employees had flown before Dennis Tito's flight on Soyuz TM-32/31.

Here's a more complete list than Dinerman's, including people who flew paid by their employers (industry), or because they had political clout:

  • Charles Walker, STS-41D 1984, STS-51D and -61B 1985
  • Jake Garn, STS-51D 1985
  • Bill Nelson, STS-61C 1986
  • Christa McAuliffe, STS-51L 1986
  • Toyohiro Akiyama, Soyuz TM-11/Mir 1990
  • Helen Sharman, Soyuz TM-12/Mir 1991
  • John Glenn, STS-95 1998
  • Dennis Tito, Soyuz TM-32/31 2001
  • Mark Shuttleworth, Soyuz TM-34 2002

The list does not include Russian employees of Energiya. Notable failures in the tourist-cosmonaut program are of course Lance Bass and Greg Olsen, one of whom ran out of money and the other failed the medicals.

The main point here is that this classification is no longer possible - space-faring is becoming quite diverse, and the next step is the diversification in launch vehicles. With last month's launch of Burt Rutan's Space Ship One, this process has already begun.

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