[FPSPACE] AP: American millionaire confident Russians will
Dwayne Allen Day
Sun, 26 Nov 2000 23:26:40 -0500 (EST)
On Sun, 26 Nov 2000 JamesOberg@aol.com wrote:
> JimO: Anybody know any specific barriers to Tito riding the Soyuz replacement
> to ISS on April 30? Who at NASA has effective yay-or-nay control over this
I dunno about that, but I do comment on something related to it down
below. I thought that this was generally a pretty decent article on
Tito. It certainly makes him out to be an okay-guy, and it had some hard
news in there about exactly when the money changes hands. Comments on
> American millionaire confident Russians will honor his ticket to space
> ''The key is launch,'' Tito said recently during an interview in Star
> City. ''All they have to do is light the rockets and the escrow opens up and
> they get all the money. And it's a lot of money. ... There's a real strong
> incentive, I think, for the Russians to fly me.''
Now this is interesting because previous reports said that MirCorp gained
access to the last of Tito's money on December 1. This contradicts those
reports. Now it is possible that Tito was scheduled to put the last of
the money in escrow on Dec. 1. So maybe he put $5 million in on Nov. 1,
and another $10 million in on Nov. 15, etc.
But what it also indicates is that neither the Russians nor MirCorp gets
the money until Tito is off the ground. That is not good for either of
them, because they need the money NOW to keep things going.
> Yuri Semyonov, president and general designer of Russia's RSC Energia
> corporation, says he's committed to honoring Tito's contract.
> He doesn't need NASA's or anyone else's permission to launch Tito on a
> Soyuz capsule to Mir, or to the international space station if Mir can be
> decommissioned by autopilot, Semyonov says huffily.
But doesn't Semyonov need permission from the Russian space
agency? Energia is not in charge of Russia's participation in the space
station, so Semyonov has to get approval from somebody in the space
With that in mind, it is worth noting that a chief spokesperson for RSA,
Gorbunov, keeps saying that Tito is not qualified to fly as a
cosmonaut. (One wonders about the internal bureaucratic politics
here. Does the cosmonaut office have something against Tito? There were
certainly members of NASA's astronaut office who objected to passengers on
the shuttle during the 80s, saying that they would get in the way.) So is
it possible that the RSA tells Energia that Tito cannot fly?
(My guess is that if Tito does not fly to ISS, it will all happen behind
the scenes and nobody at NASA will ever publicly say anything.)