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Dennis Tito, World's First Space Tourist, Files for Divorce

By Daniel Goldblatt

Multi-millionaire Dennis Tito, who made history in 2001 as the world's first space tourist, will now tackle a new frontier: bachelorhood.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the 79-year-old filed for divorce on Monday from his wife, Elizabeth TenHouten. The couple was married in June of 2016 and they did not have any children together.

Tito cited irreconcilable differences for the split and indicated the couple has a prenuptial agreement that will dictate the terms of their divorce.

TenHouten, according to her website, is an "accomplished beauty expert and international bestselling author."


In 1962, Tito earned a B.S. in astronautics and aeronautics from New York University and an M.S. in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964. He worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory before moving to a career in finance in 1972.

In 2001, he paid a reported $20 million to go to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA officials "recommended against" Tito going on the mission — not because he was paying his way there but rather because they didn't think his training would be sufficient enough.

Tito told he thought his age (he was 60 at the time) was the issue.

"If you're older, heart attacks happen, strokes happen, whatever," he said. "And what are they going to do, transport a corpse back to Earth? That would be very embarrassing for them, and traumatic."

Gettyimages | Oleg Nikishin

Tito spent eight months training in Russia and eventually launched on April 28, 2001. He told Forbes of his training, "I trained in the cosmonaut center outside of Moscow on a Soviet-style military base. I lived in a two-room flat, made my own bed and cooked my meals."

He spent about six days on the space station and then returned (landing in Kazakhstan( on May 6, 2001.

"To me, it was a 40-year dream," Tito told "The thing I have taken away from it is a sense of completeness for my life -- that everything else I would do in my life would be a bonus."

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