NCSoft's Richard "Lord British" Garriott is officially on his way to the International Space Station. The Ultima
and Tabula Rasa
designer became the first British-born space tourist through Space Adventures, which offers private citizens the chance to join missions to space.
Garriott is the son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, which according to Space Adventures also makes him the first second-generation astronaut.
"Today, my dream of following in my father's footsteps to explore new frontiers is being realized," said Garriott.
The veteran designer trained for a year for his space mission, and according to a figure in the UK Times Online, paid $30 million for the trip
While in space, Garriott will assist with outreach to students at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, conduct science experiments designed by grade schoolers in the UK, and perform a series of experiments with NASA to study the impact of space flight on astronauts. Among other activities, he will also photograph Earth and assist Extremozyme, the biotechnology company his father co-founded, in conducting Protein Crystal Growth experiments.
"Throughout my life, my sense of adventure has taken me to the ends of the Earth to embark on journeys few people have encountered," said Garriott. "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."
"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."