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Marking 10 years of space tourism (images)

On April 28, 2001, engineer Dennis Tito lifted off into space aboard a Soyuz FG rocket, becoming the first private space tourist in history.

Daniel Terdiman
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
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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.

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Climbing out

During his training, Tito climbs out of the Soyuz capsule.
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Weightless

Tito trained for his mission in Star City, Russia. Here, while in Star City, he is trained on weightlessness.
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Signing the door

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."
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Posing

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.
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Final goodbyes before launch

Here, Tito and his fellow travelers aboard the Soyuz TM-32 mission wave their goodbyes before launch on April 28, 2001.
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Rolling to launch pad

Here, we see Tito's rocket being brought to the launch pad. The rocket is being moved by a specially designed railroad car.
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Ready for launch

Not long before Tito's launch, the gantries for the Soyuz FG rocket are moved out of the way.
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Docking

Here, we see a Soyuz rocket docking with the International Space Station.
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Looking at the ISS

A view out to the International Space Station from aboard the Soyuz rocket that carries space tourists into the sky.
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Soyuz FG

Each one of Space Adventures' launches has been on a Soyuz FG rocket that took flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
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Landing

Here, we see the parachute holding the capsule that carried space tourist Anousheh Ansari.
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Tito in training

Here, we see Tito during his training in Star City, Russia.
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Training in the capsule

Here, we see Tito (left) and one of his fellow crew members training in their capsule.

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