Charity Event Organized At Tito's Residence

Dennis Tito's swank Pacific Palisades residence near Los Angeles hosted a charity event even while its owner, who is also the world's first space tourist, was returning back to Earth. 250 rich visitors paid $1,250 each, subsequently touring the huge, 10,000 square-meter, territory. The monies thus derived, as well as auction proceeds, will be transferred to the Johnsson comprehensive cancer center at the University of California. The list of auction lots included Tito's silver-frame photo that was taken prior to lift-off from the Baikonur space center. Meanwhile NASA administrator Daniel Goldin addressed a House sub-commission, noting that Tito's insistent behavior had created a nervous atmosphere among US astronauts and Russian cosmonauts responsible for the mission's safety. In this connection, Goldin praised the decision of yet another prospective space tourist, namely, film director James Cameron, who is best known for his "Titanic" blockbuster, to postpone his flight. Goldin referred to Cameron as a true patriot, quoting him as saying that he was ready to wait until the United States and Russia come to terms on this issue; Cameron would then be ready to lift off at an appropriate deadline.

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