August 8, 1940 |
Queens, New York City, U.S.
|New York University (B.S.)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S.)
Time in space
|7d 22h 04m|
|Missions||ISS EP-1 (Soyuz TM-32 / Soyuz TM-31)|
Dennis Anthony Tito (born August 8, 1940) is an American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station. This mission was launched by the spacecraft Soyuz TM-32, and was landed by Soyuz TM-31.
Life and career
Tito was born in Queens, New York. He graduated from Forest Hills High School in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Astronautics and Aeronautics from New York University, 1962 and a Master of Science in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute satellite campus in Hartford, Connecticut. He is a member of Psi Upsilon and received an honorary doctorate of engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on May 18, 2002 and is a former scientist of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
In 1972, he founded Wilshire Associates, a leading provider of investment management, consulting and technology services in Santa Monica, California. Dennis Tito serves an international clientele representing assets of $71 billion. Wilshire relies on the field of quantitative analytics, which uses mathematical tools to analyze market risks – a methodology Tito is credited with helping to develop by applying the same techniques he used to determine a spacecraft's path at JPL. Despite a career change from aerospace engineering to investment management, Tito remained interested in space.
Tito was appointed to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners in the 1990s and led the board to support the landmark 1994 state ruling protecting Mono Lake from excessive water diversions by the city.
In a project first arranged by MirCorp, Tito was accepted by the Russian Federal Space Agency as a candidate for a commercial spaceflight. Tito met criticism from NASA before the launch, primarily from Daniel Goldin, at that time the Administrator of NASA, who considered it inappropriate for a tourist to take a ride into space. MirCorp, Goldin and Tito are profiled in the documentary film, Orphans of Apollo. When Tito arrived at the Johnson Space Center for additional training on the American portion of the ISS, Robert D. Cabana, NASA manager, sent Tito and his two fellow cosmonauts home, stating, "...We will not be able to begin training, because we are not willing to train with Dennis Tito."
Later, through an arrangement with space tourism company Space Adventures, Ltd., Tito joined the Soyuz TM-32 mission on April 28, 2001, spending 7 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes in space and orbiting Earth 128 times. Tito performed several scientific experiments in orbit that he said would be useful for his company and business. Tito paid a reported $20 million for his trip.
Since returning from space, he has testified at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space and the House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics Joint Hearing on "Commercial Human Spaceflight" on July 24, 2003. Ten years after his flight, he gave an interview to BBC News about it.
Inspiration Mars Foundation
In February 2013, Tito announced his intention to send a privately financed spaceflight to Mars by 2018, stating that the technology is already in place and that the issues that need to be overcome are only the requirements of the rigor of a 501-day trip on a psychological and physical level for the human crew. However, in November 2013, Tito and other Mars Inspiration team members admitted that their plan was impossible without significant levels of assistance and funding from NASA.
On October 4, 2016, Dennis Tito and his firm Wilshire Associates has been named in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Cecilia Loo, the President of Wilshire's Analytics division. The suit claims that Wilshire wrongfully terminated her after 35 years based on her age - just 2 days after her 60th birthday. The suit also alleges discrimination based on Ms. Woo's gender and race. She is Asian The lawsuit said Mr. Tito told her on Aug. 4 that, “I'll send you to China,” if she did not meet Mr. Tito's expectations. The suit also said Ms. Loo was the only non-Caucasian and woman on the board of directors and among Wilshire's top management. A Wilshire spokeswoman said in an e-mail: “the claims in this case are without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves.” “There is no question that Wilshire's termination of Loo was unlawfully motivated by age, gender and race discrimination, as well as by unlawful retaliation,” the lawsuit said. “Indeed, it is difficult to find a case in the post-Jim Crow era in which undisputed facts so egregiously smack of such discrimination.” The suit said despite Ms. Loo successfully revamping Wilshire's analytic system earlier in 2016, Mr. Tito set out to “humiliate her” at an Aug. 30 meeting. “Remarkably, on that occasion Tito stated publicly and repeatedly that the team of which Loo was a part was 'too old.'” Mr. Tito continued with a “rant, in which no age-based discriminatory stereotype or remark was skipped,” Ms. Loo said in the suit. The suit seeks punitive, compensatory and other allowable damages. Russell F. Wolpert, Ms. Loo's attorney, said in a statement: “We have not yet specified a specific dollar amount, but a number of recent California employment-based discrimination or harassment cases have resolved in the several million-dollar range — some higher. “However, this situation is unique for a variety of reasons, especially because Ms. Loo was at the highest level of the enterprise (a president and even a board of director member), and no executive except for Dennis Tito himself had her tenure of employment at Wilshire — more than a third of a century.”
- "Dennis Tito to Speak at Rensselaer Nov. 14". Rensselaer Magazine. November 4, 2002. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Wilshire / About Us". Wilshire. November 3, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Dennis A. Tito to Receive Prestigious Americanism Award from Boy Scouts of America". Western Los Angeles County Council. January 11, 2002. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Defender of the Trust Award". Mono Lake Committee. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Brian Berger and Simon Saradzhyan (March 15, 2001). "Goldin, Koptev at Odds on Tito Flight". Space.com. Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Leonard David (April 28, 2001). "NASA Chief Remains Miffed Over Tito Launch: 'Space is Not About Egos'". Space.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Julie Mayeda (January 18, 2004). "The forgotten frontier". SFGate. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "First Space Tourist Dennis Tito to Make Business Visit to Russia". redOrbit. June 15, 2004. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Profile: Tito the spaceman". BBC News. April 28, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "Congressional Testimony "Commercial Human Spaceflight" by Dennis Tito, Wilshire Associates". SpaceRef. July 24, 2003. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "World's first space tourist 10 years on: Dennis Tito". BBC News. April 30, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Eric Mack (February 20, 2013). "First space tourist plans to make trip to Mars in 2018". CNET. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Rand Simberg (February 24, 2013). "A Manned Mission to Mars This Decade?". PJ Media. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Marc Kaufman (February 27, 2013). "Manned Mars Mission Announced by Dennis Tito Group". National Geographic News. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Frank Morring, Jr. (March 4, 2013). "Serious Intent About 2018 Human Mars Mission". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Grossman, Lisa (November 21, 2013). "Ambitious Mars joy-ride cannot succeed without NASA". New Scientist. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Klerkx, Greg. Lost in Space, The Fall of NASA. Random House: New York. 2004. ISBN 0-375-42150-5