Members of the House Science Committee at a congressional hearing this week suggested subsidizing the astronomically expensive International Space Station by giving space-shuttle seats to the lucky and the rich. They would consider selling lottery tickets for space rides to the masses and let others, like Soyuz passenger Dennis Tito, pay millions. The idea of space tourism, however, has yet to gain popularity with NASA, which fought the California investment banker's April visit to the space station under Russian auspices. Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, countered criticism by saying the US space program has always been as much about science as symbolism. He cited examples like letting former Sen. John Glenn ride off into the sunset on the shuttle in 1998.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor