Space Adventures Client & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott Successfully Launches
Garriott makes history as 1st second-generation astronaut.
OCTOBER 12, 2008
Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company that provides human space missions to the world marketplace, today announced that its orbital client Richard Garriott and his crew successfully launched aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Garriott joins the Expedition 18 crew, which includes NASA astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov.
In preparation for his spaceflight, Garriott, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, completed a cosmonaut-training program at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City, Russia. This historic mission marks Garriott as the world’s 1st second-generation astronaut.
“Today, my dream of following in my father’s footsteps to explore new frontiers is being realized,” said Richard Garriott. ”Throughout my life, my sense of adventure has taken me to the ends of the Earth to embark on journeys few people have encountered. It’s with honor and appreciation that I launch on my greatest adventure yet, and step into a role assumed by only five private individuals before me.” Garriott continued, “I’ve dedicated this flight to not only scientific and environmental research, but also educational outreach. I’m thrilled to be able to excite students throughout the world and demonstrate how far our dreams can take us.”
Space Adventures became world renowned in 2001 with the launch of client Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately funded spaceflight participant. Since then, the company has launched four other individuals to space.
Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures, said, “It has always been Space Adventures’ goal to open the space frontier. With Richard’s launch today, we are not only continuing to demonstrate the viability of civilian space travel, but also the potential for commercial opportunities during our clients’ space missions.” Anderson continued, “Richard’s efforts while on the ISS will be making an important contribution to the future of human permanence in space.”
Garriott will participate in a wide range of activities, to include:
Garriott will communicate with students associated with the Challenger Center for Space Science Education via a NASA-sponsored teleconference, two HAM radio downlinks in cooperation with Amateur Radio on the ISS, and through videotaped experiments that can be replicated on Earth. Visit challenger.org for more information.
Garriott will conduct two science experiments designed by primary and secondary students from theUnited Kingdom in partnership with the British National Space Center.
In cooperation with NASA, Garriott will perform a series of experiments that will study the physical impact of spaceflight on astronauts. Garriott will observe the reaction of the eyes to low and high pressure in a microgravity environment; the effects of spaceflight on the human immune system; and astronauts’ sleep/wake patterns and sleep characteristics.
Garriott will photograph a number of ecologically significant places on Earth. These photographs will be compared to shots taken 35 years ago by Garriott’s father while in space. Together, Garriott and The Nature Conservancy will review the images to document how the Earth has changed in one generation.
In cooperation with the European Space Agency, Garriott will perform a series of experiments that will include the study of early detection of osteoporosis; vestibular adaptation to G-force transitions; and the occurrence of lower back pain.
Garriott will assist the biotechnology company ExtremoZyme, co-founded by Owen Garriott, by conducting Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiments.
Seiko has developed the Spring Drive Spacewalk watch, specifically designed for use in space. Garriott will be taking the watch to the ISS, where he will be testing it in a microgravity environment. Visit seikospringdrive.com/spacewalk/ for more information.
Richard will be conducting a physics experiment while on the ISS as part of an initiative sponsored by DHL. The experiment has been designed as an educational contest that will take place at the DHLInnovation Center in Bonn, Germany.
About Richard Garriott
Garriott’s mission to the ISS is the latest destination in a life defined by adventure and innovation. In recent years, Garriott has conquered incredible adventures that span the globe including searching for meteorites on the continent of Antarctica, tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda, canoeing down the Amazon, deep ocean hydrothermal vent expeditions and dives to the Titanic. Now, Garriott will embark on his most incredible adventure to date: space exploration.
Garriott was born in Cambridge, England and raised in Nassau Bay, Texas. In 1980, Garriott attended the University of Texas at Austin where he developed the Ultima computer game series. Garriott, along with his father and brother, created Origin Systems, a private video game publisher. In 1992, Garriott sold Origin Systems to Electronic Arts. In 1999, Garriott left Electronic Arts and in 2000 he formed Destination Games and partnered with NCsoft. In November 2007, his latest game, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, was launched in North America and in the European Union.
About Space Adventures
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit spaceadventures.com.