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Garriott Begins Cosmonaut Training Program for October ISS Flight

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 7, 2008
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Game developer Richard Garriott, son of former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, has begun training at the Yuri Gagarin Training Center in Star City, Russia in preparation for a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) currently planned for October.

“I am quite excited to be in training now and I look forward to all aspects that it will entail,” said Richard Garriott. “But, I am particularly enthusiastic to be here in Star City, as a resident, with its amazing history of space exploration. I’m honored to surround myself with its people and I am determined to learn as much as I possibly can, inside and outside the classroom.”

Mr. Garriott’s spaceflight will be the first in a series of missions that will accommodate commercial activity aboard the ISS. Involvement from the private sector will include scientific and environmental research and educational outreach programming.


“Since announcing Richard’s intent to fly, we have been contacted by numerous corporations and non-profits seeking ways in which to participate in his space mission,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “It is a very rare occasion when so many commercial opportunities are available during one spaceflight. In the coming months, we will be announcing Richard’s mission partners and details on his planned on-orbit activities.”

Space Adventures made history in 2001 by organizing the mission of the first private space explorer. Now, the company continues to bring innovation to manned spaceflight by enabling corporate and non-profit entities to participate in commercial endeavors on the planet’s only orbiting outpost.

Interested parties, including commercial and non-profit entities and space enthusiasts, can get involved in Mr. Garriott’s spaceflight via his web site ( Mr. Garriott will be updating the site continuously via photos, blog entries and individuals can submit questions and suggestions for his mission activities. “I want to involve as many people as possible in my mission,” said Mr. Garriott.

About Richard Garriott:

Richard Garriott is best known as a key figure in the computer gaming field. He was one of the earliest and most successful game developers. Mr. Garriott developed the Ultima series which remains the longest running computer game franchise, and with his brother, Robert, he founded Origin Systems, one of the most respected PC game developers and publishers. Richard also created Ultima Online, which ushered in the new massively multi-player online (MMO) genre, the fastest growing segment in computer gaming today. More recently, he co-founded the North American arm of NCsoft (, the world’s largest online game developer and publisher. In November 2007, his latest game, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, launched in North America and in the European Union. For more information, please visit

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