First space tourist Dennis Tito of U.S. winds up pre-flight preparations

The first space tourist, American millionaire Dennis Tito, is completing preparations for a flight to the International Space Station. The RIA Novosti correspondent reports that on April 10 Tito will take the last test before specialists at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. On April 11 he and the other crewmen, cosmonauts Talgat Musabaev and Yuri Baturin of Russia, will meet with journalists at the Star City and tell of their upcoming space Odyssey. Blastoff is scheduled for the morning of April 28 from Baikonur and landing for May 5. Tito said that he had to study the flight programme and join the crew as a standby. I had to undergo not only physical training but also to master control of the ship up to manual docking with the ISS in the event auto fails, he said. Meanwhile, American specialists are attempting to prevent flight of their fellow countryman, say chiefs of the pre-flight preparations. According to deputy chief of the Gagarin center Vasili Tsibliev, "this matter must be regulated between the Russian Space Agency and NASA"; Dennis Tito has been prepared for the flight.

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