Press Release

Congress Holds Hearings on Tito Space Flight and Citizen Space Travel: Foundation President Rick Tumlinson to Testify

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2001
Filed under , ,

The House Subcommittee on Space is
a hearing Tuesday to discuss the future of citizen space travel. Space
Frontier Foundation President Rick Tumlinson, Apollo 11 astronaut “Buzz”

Aldrin, Michael Hawes, Deputy Assoc. Director of Space Station, and
Tito, first citizen explorer in space, will testify at the Rayburn House

Office Building, between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

The Foundation believes many are getting the wrong message about Dennis
Tito’s flight to space station Alpha, and have become too focused on
to turn the unfinished station into a “tourist” destination.

“Our goal should not be to convert (Alpha) to an orbital hotel and spa,”

explained Tumlinson. “Space tourism is not the government’s job. The
government’s investment in the station and its infrastructure should be
economic catalyst for a new orbital community – including commercial
and facilities in the Alpha neighborhood.”

In the Foundation’s view, privately owned co-orbital facilities create
opportunities for all involved. They decrease pressure to accommodate
visitors aboard the International Space Station, increase safety by
redundancy in emergency situations, and most importantly, begin a new
industry unlimited by the physical scope of the government’s station.

Regarding space transportation, Tumlinson stated: “We must also be
about giving away individual seats on government vehicles to potential
private sector customers as this would undercut the very competitive
environment we need to lower costs.” He added, “We don’t need any more
taxpayer funded space translators. The people get it. Most just cannot

For more information about the Space Frontier Foundation, call 1(800)
78-SPACE, or visit our website:

SpaceRef staff editor.