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This week marked the 10th anniversary of “space tourist” Dennis Tito’s historic ride to space.  Miles O’Brien reports on what Tito’s $20 million ticket has done to help launch the commercial space industry.

Tito paid the Russian government for a seat aboard a Soyuz craft that docked with the station on April 30, 2001.  He received cosmonaut training in Russia and was eventually granted permission to fly to the station by NASA after considerable objections.  To date six other multimillionaires have visited the station aboard Russian spacecraft since Tito’s flight. 

Tito has a Connecticut connection too.  He received a master’s degree in engineering from Rensselaer’s Hartford campus in 1964.  He later went into finance where he made his fortune. 

Wikipedia Commons Photo
Mission patch from Tito’s spaceflight. Tito paid a reported million to visit the International Space Station in 2001. (Wikipedia Commons Photo)

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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