On April 28, 2001, engineer Dennis Tito lifted off into space aboard a Soyuz FG rocket, becoming the first private space tourist in history.
The world changes
With this launch, on April 28, 2001, the world of space travel changed forever. On that day 10 years ago, wealthy engineer Dennis Tito became the first-ever private space tourist, flying aboard a Russian Soyuz FG rocket, in this case the Soyuz TM-32. Tito traveled to the International Space Station, where he spent eight days.
Space Adventures offers those willing to put up tens of millions of dollars the ability to train for and fly aboard a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station. A number of people have done so, including Tito, Anousheh Ansari, video game developer Richard Garriott, and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte.
Traditionally, each Soyuz crew member signs the door of the dorm room they stay in the night before their launch. Here, we see Dennis Tito signing his door at the Baikonur facility where he trained for his flight, the first-ever by a "space tourist."
Each Soyuz rocket crew traditionally takes a photo like this one in front of their capsule. This is the Soyuz TM-32 crew, with the world's first-ever space tourist, Dennis Tito, seen here on the right.