A Look Back at Space Tourism Version 1.0 as New Gaggle of Millionauts Prepares to Fly

The first space tourist, Dennis Tito, poses with Soyuz TM-32 crew mates Talgat Musabayev, and Yuri Baturin in 2001. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For eight years, they thundered aloft in cramped Russian spacecraft from a former Soviet spaceport in Kazakhstan, battling bureaucracy and gravity to blaze a trail across the heavens and redefine what it meant to be a space traveler. No longer would access to orbit be limited to highly trained astronauts chosen on merit and working on behalf of their nations; instead, space would be open to any sufficiently healthy people with enough money and moxie to qualify.


Richard Garriott’s Man on a Mission Film Released

Richard Garriott

SA PR — Space Adventures’ sixth orbital spaceflight client, Richard Garriott, flew to the International Space Station in October 2008 and became the first second generation American astronaut. Man on a Mission is the story of his journey from son of an Apollo astronaut to famed computer game developer to finally achieving his lifelong dream of flying to space himself.

Check for on-demand providers or for a movie theater near you.


Video: Father-Son Astronauts Owen and Richard Garriott Talk Space

Father and son astronauts Owen and Richard Garriott speak at the 2011 National Space Society International Space Development Conference. Owen Garriott spent 60 days aboard Skylab in 1973 and 10 days aboard the Space Shuttle in Spacelab-1 in 1983. His son Richard Garriott is a video game developer and entrepreneur who funded his own 12-day trip flying on Soyuz to the International Space Station in 2008. This talk was given on May 19, 2011. Note: Questions at the end were inaudible so were edited out; the answers remain.

Survey Predicts 140 Private Space Travelers in Orbit Through 2020

Richard Garriott

An estimated 140 private individuals will travel into orbit on a commercial basis through 2020, according to a new market forecast done by Space Adventures.

Officials from the Virginia-based space tourism company held a press conference on Thursday to explain their results and to provide an update on the company’s planned circum-lunar flyby. Space Adventures Chairman Eric Anderson and board member Richard Garriott discussed the results of their survey, which was done at the request of NASA, Boeing and other companies.

Over the past decade, seven private space tourists — including Garriott — flew to the International Space Sstation on eight missions (one man flew twice). Space Adventures expect orbital space tourism to increase substantially over the next decade as new private vehicles come online to challenge Russia’s monopoly on space tourism.


Space Adventures to Announce Circumlunar Flight News

Space Adventures Hosts Tele-conference to Announce Circumlunar Mission Developments and Market Outlook for Orbital Spaceflight

WHAT: As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Dennis Tito’s pioneering orbital spaceflight, please join Eric Anderson and Richard Garriott as they outline the future of private exploration and announce new developments regarding the company’s circumlunar mission.

Space Adventures, the only company that has provided human space missions to the global marketplace, became world renowned on April 28, 2001 with the launch of Dennis Tito, the first privately-funded spaceflight participant. Since then, the company has launched six other individuals to space.

WHO: Eric Anderson, Chairman of Space Adventures
Richard Garriott, Vice-Chairman of Space Adventures and 1st Second Generation American Astronaut

WHEN: Thurs., May 5, 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

RSVP: Please reply to this e-mail or contact Stacey Tearne at +1 202 256 7917 to request dial-in information.

Garriott Helping Armadillo Aerospace Raise Funds

Gamesutra reports that millionaut Richard Garriott is assisting John Carmack and Armadillo Aerospace in its efforts to develop a human suborbital business:

As far as the future of space travel, Garriott sees it coming from the private sector, notably John Carmack of id Software, with his company Armadillo Aerospace. “His next stage is to be able to send people into space on a vertical takeoff vertical landing orbit,” said Garriott, who revealed that he is now helping fund Carmack’s venture by funneling in money from investors who want to eventually take a space flight.

“I am a passionate believer that humanity’s destiny is to live beyond the confines of the earth,” said Garriot. “And it’s going to be us that do it! It’s not going to be big government groups, it’s going to be people like our community.”

Richard Garriott Movie to Debut at South By Soutwest Film Festival


An historic 12-day journey to space by legendary game developer and space explorer Richard Garriott will have its world premiere at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin. Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission is set to blast off with two screenings at the 2010 conference. The first will be 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 14 at Austin’s Paramount Theater and the second will be Thursday, March 18, at 2:30, also at the Paramount.


Garriott: Space Diving is Next

Richard Garriott
Richard Garriott

At home with Richard Garriott, the talk is all about space
The Statesman

As for Garriott, his latest dream is to catch a ride in one of those suborbital vehicles — and then step off. “Which means space diving,” he said.

He’s working with a number of groups to develop the technology to do it, and survive. One of the problems with space diving, he said, is that once you hit the atmosphere, you’re traveling at speeds of about Mach 5, which means that the airflow might shred your spacesuit.


Garriott’s House: Moon Rocks, Shrunken Heads and Vampire Kits

Millionaut Richard Garriott aboard the International Space Station with five other lesser known professional space travelers.
Millionaut Richard Garriott (lower left) aboard the International Space Station - presumably without any shrunken heads or vampire medical kits.

Ever wondered how your average millionaire-software-developer-turned-space-tourist lives? Pretty well, it turns out. Steven Andrew has the answer. The Examiner writer visited Richard Garriott at his estate near Austin, TX.


Millionaut Garriott Investing in Commercial Space, Vows to Fly Again

Richard Garriott
Richard Garriott

The Examiner has a lengthy Q&A interview with millionaut space tourist Richard Garriott. Some key excerpts:

Yes, $30 million is about right. The brash answer is I earned this money the old fashioned way, with hard work and elbow grease building successful businesses, and I can spend it how I want. But the more relevant answer goes back to the prior question: this wasn’t just an expensive lark. (more…)

Millionaut Garriott, Teacher Morgan Join Challenger Center Board

Richard Garriott
Richard Garriott


Challenger Center for Space Science Education announced today that astronauts Barbara Morgan and Richard Garriott and aerospace engineer Karolyn Young were elected to its Board of Directors at its recent annual conference held at the Buehler Challenger & Science Center in Paramus, New Jersey.

Barbara Morgan, a retired NASA astronaut, is the Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State University, with dual appointment in the colleges of engineering and education. She flew on space shuttle mission STS-118 in 2007 as the first NASA educator astronaut. Morgan was selected as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space program in 1985, training alongside Christa McAuliffe. She earned a B.A. degree in human biology from Stanford University, and her teaching credentials from College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California.


Space Tourism Industry Lays Claim to Apollo’s Legacy

XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle
XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle


Next Giant Leap
Private space pioneers: We’re inheritors of Apollo legacy

“Flight to space is an entire series of pinnacle life experiences,” said [Richard] Garriott, a 48-year-old board member of Space Adventures, the company that arranged his 12-day trip last year. “The view of the Earth is life changing.”