Go For Launch! Challenger Center Heads to the International Space Station

Press Release From: Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2008


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Alexandria, VA - Richard Garriott is a preeminent game developer and son of NASA Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott. As the next civilian to fly into space, Richard plans to follow the lead of Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan, STS-118, through interactive lessons that will motivate and inspire students. His flight is currently scheduled for lift-off to the International Space Station on October 12, 2008. Richard is a former student of Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, the Founding Chairman of Challenger Center for Space Science Education and widow of that flight's Commander, Dick Scobee.

After the tragic loss of the Challenger space shuttle crew, Richard worked with Dr. Scobee Rodgers on the design of the first Challenger Learning Center. There are now over 50 Challenger Learning Centers in the United States, Canada, England and South Korea. Richard will continue the mission of Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe, as did Barbara Morgan, as he delivers activities and challenges from the International Space Station. Garriott's flight activities have the potential to reach children across the globe as he reaches out from the first Challenger Learning Center off the planet.

Garriott plans to spend time before, during and after his flight working with students, teachers and the 50 Challenger Learning Centers located in the United States, England, Canada and South Korea. He plans to conduct a series of interactive webcasts associated with his spaceflight training in Russia; conduct podcasts discussing activities related to both his training and spaceflight; hold amateur ham radio conversations with students during his flight; and perform experiments that can be replicated by students using everyday objects to demonstrate important concepts in physics. Students can predict what might happen during the same experiment in the microgravity (weightless) environment of space.

Dr. June Scobee Rodgers plans to present lessons to students over the web in preparation for Richard Garriott's flight. "Like father, like son," says Dr. Rodgers, commenting on her former student's plans. "Dr. Owen Garriott also taught student science lessons from space on his Skylab mission, as Richard plans to do on his flight."Richard Garriott's experiments, webcasts, and podcasts about his flight will be available on the Challenger Center's national website,

Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission. It is dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission and impacts over 300,000 students and 25,000 teachers each year. Challenger Learning Center programs at 50 centers around the world continue the crew's mission of engaging teachers and students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. To locate a Challenger Learning Center near you, visit

For program information, please contact: Shannon Rush, Development and Communications Associate Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria, VA 888-683-9740;

To request an interview with Richard Garriott, please contact: Stacey Tearne, Space Adventures 703 894 2192,

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