30 November 2007
- Tourism (Good)
Lord British heads for the Stars
Richard Garriot to be the sixth space tourist to visit ISS
by Carol Pinchefsky
By Carol Pinchefsky

Richard Garriott will be the sixth tourist to fly to the International Space Station, on a flight scheduled for October 2008.

Known in some circles as Lord British, Garriott amassed his fortune as the creator of the Ultimata series of games. But he had always wanted to visit space: Garriott is the son of Owen Garriot, a former NASA astronaut who stayed aboard Skylab 3 for 60 days in 1973. Garriot Senior flew to space again in 1983 and stayed for 10 days aboard Spacelab-1.

In an essay published in PC Gamer magazine (December 2007), Garriott said that traveling to space is a lifelong dream. "I was...acutely aware that the costs and complexity that kept it in the purview of the government meant that the probability of going the same way my dad did was zero.... Early on, I knew that if I wanted to go, I would have to go via a private manned space program, which of course did not yet exist."

Because of that, Garriott has been investing in the space industry for years, including the X-Prize, Space Adventures, and Zero G. And his next game, Tabula Rasa is a massively multiplayer science fiction online role-playing game set in space. Garriot created Tabula Rasa to break away from the fantasy themes of most current MMOs. In a similar way, space tourism will be the clean slate the space industry needs to break away from its government-funded past and achieve its real potential.

Garriott will be blogging about his experiences at his website .
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Carol Pinchefsky 30 November 2007
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