Press Release


Hawking Book Cover To Be Launched Into Space




The cover of the children’s book, George’s Secret Key To The Universe by Lucy and Stephen Hawking is to be blasted into space on October 12, 2008.

The book cover will be carried by Richard Garriott, a preeminent game developer and son of NASA Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott, Richard will be the next civilian to fly into space.  His mission is made possible by Space Adventures, Ltd.

The cover of George’s Secret Key To The Universe will be signed by Lucy Hawking and thumb printed by Professor Stephen Hawking before it takes its flight, starting a journey in Cambridge, via Russia and Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS) which orbits at a distance of approximately 220 miles from the Earth’s surface.

“I had the enormous pleasure of spending time with Lucy and Dr. Hawking recently and I am incredibly honoured to take a piece of their work to space with me,” said Richard Garriott.  “Stephen Hawking is a long-time hero of mine and I hope this effort inspires even more children around the world to read their book and be inspired by the magical tale.”

George’s Secret Key To The Universe was written to interest children in physics and the universe and is an entertaining blend of a fictional story based on Science fact, with factual text boxes explaining the Science throughout. On publication in September 2007 contained brand new information about black holes. The book is a global bestseller, with rights sold in over 30 languages.

A second book, George And The Cosmic Treasure Hunt will follow in 2009 and will see our young hero travel into space himself once more.


About Space Adventures:

Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first and only private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi, is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, USA with an office in Moscow.  It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the ISS and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts.  For more information, please visit


About Richard Garriott:

Richard Garriott, the legendary video game programmer and designer will be launching to orbit on October 12, 2008. In doing so, Richard will become Earth’s sixth private citizen to conduct a space mission aboard the International Space Station.  Richard will be flying aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS as a client of Space Adventures.

Richard is following in the footsteps of his father, Owen Garriott a former NASA astronaut and is set to become America’s first “second generation” astronaut.  While Owen joined the NASA astronaut corps and completed two space missions during his career, Richard is now helping to usher in another new era in manned space exploration.  He is funding his own private spaceflight to Earth’s only manned outpost in orbit the ISS.

For further information on George’s Secret Key To The Universe go to or contact Nina Douglas at Random House Children’s Books on 020 8231 6740, or email