The day the first tourist went to space – level 2

28-04-2001

People were always fascinated by the night sky full of stars. American Dennis Tito was no different. As a boy, he began to dream about his journey up there. That was one of the reasons for his studies of engineering and his work for NASA. After five years at NASA, he decided to do something new. He began to work in the investment market.

He was so successful that he had $200 million in his bank account. He still had his dream of a journey to the stars, and now he had money to realize it.

At the time, the Russian space agency had financial problems, and rich people seemed to be exactly the financial injection which the agency needed. That’s why they made a deal with Tito. He paid twenty million dollars for a one-week space vacation.

He had to do a long training. He became familiar with the Soyuz spacecraft and he practiced for landing on Earth. He also improved his skills in Russian. His training was 8 months long.

On April 28, 2001, Soyuz took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with two astronauts and the first space tourist to the ISS. Tito stayed in space for 7 days, during which he went around the Earth 128 times. He then safely landed in Kazakhstan.

Difficult words: seem (to look like), deal (a contract), vacation (a holiday, time away from work), spacecraft (a vehicle which travels to space), ISS (the International Space Station).

What do you think about this day?

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