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To further confirm that Americans fervently believe that all white people are born in the U.S., NASA chief Dan Goldin praises Canadian James Cameron as “an American Patriot” before a congressional inquiry.

I saw “Titanic”. They can have ‘im.

-Ian.

——– http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010502/ts/space_tourist_dc_2.html

Wednesday May 2 4:50 PM ET NASA Chief Raps Tito, Praises Filmmaker Cameron

By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NASA chief Daniel Goldin criticized cosmic tourist Dennis Tito on Wednesday for causing stress at the U.S. space agency, but praised aspiring amateur astronaut and director James Cameron for delaying any trip until the time is right.

“The current situation has put an incredible stress on the men and women of NASA,” Goldin told members of a U.S. House of Representatives panel on space and aeronautics.

“They are dedicated to safety and Mr. Tito does not realize the efforts of thousands of people in the United States and Russia that are working to protect his safety and the safety of everyone else, taking extraordinary means,” Goldin testified.

Tito, a 60-year-old California multimillionaire, paid Russia some $20 million to travel aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the space agencies of Europe, Japan and Canada objected to Tito’s flight, saying he was inadequately trained and might dangerously distract the station crew.

Lofted into space last Saturday, Tito arrived at the station on Monday. He will stay for about six days, then return to Earth aboard an older Soyuz that is about to be retired.

When Russia said they would launch Tito despite the objections, the global partners got Tito to agree to pay for anything he breaks in the station, to stay in the Russian sections unless escorted and not to sue if he is injured.

So far, Tito has followed the rules and has not broken anything, according to Bob Cabana, NASA’s manager for international operations for the space station.

“I’ve received no reports of any problems; everything’s going smoothly,” Cabana said. “The agreement we had pretty much laid everything out, and I think everything’s going fine as far as that’s concerned.”

In response to congressional questions about the cost — in money and lost research time — of Tito’s voyage, Goldin said this would be assessed after the mission ends and that Russia had agreed to reimburse these costs.

Unbidden, Goldin brought up Cameron’s push for a ride in space, contrasting it favorably with Tito’s and calling the director and producer of the hit “Titanic” and other films “an American patriot.”

Cameron Approached Nasa In 2000

“I’d like to make a contrast here, because there is an American patriot who understood how to do this,” Goldin said. ”That gentleman’s name is James Cameron, who approached me some six months ago and asked about going to space.”

When Goldin told Cameron there was no protocol for screening or training or even a known time when he might fly, Goldin said the director told him, “I’m going to wait until the partners work things out, and then at an appropriate time, when the ops (operations) tempo isn’t high, maybe it’s appropriate to go.”

Cameron, who was born in Ontario, Canada, has undergone preliminary testing in Russia to determine his fitness for space travel, and passed, according to Rae Sanchini, president of Lightstorm Entertainment, Cameron’s production company.

“He is hopeful, he’s very interested,” Sanchini said in a telephone interview, referring to Cameron’s space aspirations. She denied reports that Cameron was within weeks of signing an agreement with Russia for a space flight.

“He’s got different goals in mind than Mr. Tito,” Sanchini said from Los Angeles. “He wants to go into space to capture imagery … that can excite the masses about space exploration and the efforts of NASA and the Russian Space Agency and furthering that cause.”

Russia’s Mir was ditched in March in the South Pacific. Tito had originally agreed to travel to Mir and was switched to the International Space Station when it became clear Mir would not be available.

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