Game Creator Richard Garriott and Crew Reach International Space Station
(Via Wired)Wired said:
Austin-based millionaire and video game creator Richard Garriott docked to the International Space Station early this morning and joined the crew for their first live transmission to the Earth.
In the welcoming ceremony video you can see the crew preparing for the cameras by smoothing out their hair, passing out snaking coils of headset cords, and floating over the rest of the group to get in position. A Russian space official starts off the ceremony by joking that he could see the departing space station crew are all "due for a haircut." You also get to hear NASA astronaut Mike Fincke thanking his three young daughters for letting him go to space for six months and signing off, "I love you — from space!"
Garriott reportedly paid $30 million for the 10-day mission on the Space Station under a deal between Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and the Virginia-based firm Space Adventures and is their sixth orbital spaceflight customer. Garriott is adding fun, artistic, educational, scientific and commercial objectives to his mission, including carrying some of Stephen Colbert's DNA for a project called "Operation Immortality." All the mayhem can be tracked on his website www.richardinspace.com.
During the launch Sunday from Kazakhstan, Garriott held up a sign with a message written in the language of the Tabula Rasa game for fans to decode. He also plans to participate in a number of educational activities sponsored by the Challenger Learning Centers, a group whose founding chairman is June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of a Space Shuttle Challenger commander. Rodgers was one of Garriott's teachers when he was growing up in Nassau Bay, Texas as the son of astronaut Owen Garriott.
Garriott's parents and his brother were on hand to razz him during the ceremony as well. His mom called him Peter Pan because he could now fly, something they got to do together on the Zero-G plane this past Easter. Garriot smiled through it all and assured them that he was, "sure enjoying it so far."
Garriott joined Commander Sergei Volkov in the International Space Stationmarking the first time two second-generation space explorers had meetin space.
Both of their space-faring fathers were on hand in Russian MissionControl to congratulate them at the welcome ceremony. OwenGarriott spend two months in space during the Skylab 3 missions in 1973and Alexander Volkov flew on Soyuz TM-13 in 1991, launching as a Sovietcitizen and returning as a Russian citizen.
The two sons are to return to Earth together in aSoyuz vehicle in about ten days time. The previous two Soyuz re-entrieshave been ballistic, high-g, off-nominal re-entries due an explosivebolt failing to fire. Cosmonauts did a daring spacewalk earlier thissummer to try to fix the problem by removing the offending bolt.
Image: Space Adventures
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