NEW YORK — Dennis Tito said he’s the one who set the price for traveling to the international space station, which reportedly was as high as $20 million.
“Of course I did, I’m a businessman,” the Los Angeles investment firm founder says in an interview on ABC’s “PrimeTime Thursday.”
“Maybe I told them too much but I was happy with the price. I said, `Look, this is what it’s worth it to me. I’ll fly for this price. Take it or leave it.’ And we struck a deal. I mean, this is the way you do business.”
Tito, 60, said he’s contractually obligated not to reveal how much he paid the Russians to go into space for eight days this month, but when the $20 million figure was mentioned, he neither confirmed nor denied it.
After the journey was over, Tito said NASA ordered the astronauts not to give him a hug, as they had given each other. He received handshakes instead.
“Well, what they didn’t see was (American astronaut) Jim Voss whispered to me, ‘I’m sorry I can’t hug you — we were told not to do that.’ So it wasn’t him personally,” Tito said.
When asked what he thought of NASA’s order, Tito responded, “I wouldn’t give it.”