L.A. Mayor Declares May 10 Dennis Tito Day

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan declared May 10 the Dennis Tito Day. Sources in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC), based in the Star City, near Moscow, said the decision was made on the occasion of the first space traveller's return home. "On returning from space [last Sunday], Dennis Tito got accustomed to Earth gravity level so quickly and easily that the doctors reacted positively to his request for a prompt return home," CTC sources disclosed. According to sources in the Center, Tito was met at the airport by reporters, city hall officials, his loved ones, and fans of his space odyssey. The cordial meeting ceremony was in stark contrast to the icy politeness Tito was treated with by editorial policy-sensitive Western reporters who met with him at the Star City the day before he left Moscow. Back then, one of them had pressed the first space tourist for comment on NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin's statement, in which he lashed out at Tito for lack of patriotism over having neglected warnings from home and boarded a Russian spaceship. Tito's dignified reply was, "I respect Mr. Goldin, but no-one gave him the right to decide who has this sense of patriotism in the USA".

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