Vienna, Va. - October 14, 2008 - Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company that provides human space missions to the world marketplace, announced today that its orbital client Richard Garriott and his crew successfully arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) after launching onboard the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 12.
The spacecraft docked to the ISS at 4:38 a.m. (EDT) with Garriott and Expedition 18 crewmembers NASA astronaut Mike Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov. They were greeted at 6:00 a.m. (EDT) by the Expedition 17 crew, which includes Russian cosmonauts Sergei Volkov, Oleg Kononenko and NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff, when the hatch to the space station opened.
In preparation for his spaceflight, Garriott, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, completed a training program at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City, Russia. This historic mission marks Garriott as the world's 1st second-generation astronaut and the first time a Space Adventures' mission will incorporate commercial activity aboard the ISS, to include educational outreach, scientific and environmental research.
Garriott will share his experiences through his Web site, www.richardinspace.com. The site's "Tracking The Mission" section will feature live and playback video from NASA TV and Garriott will also be responding to questions posed on his site via audio recordings, direct from space.
Garriott will complete more than 170 orbits of the Earth before returning home with Expedition 17 crewmembers Volkov and Kononenko on October 24.
About Richard Garriott
Garriott's mission to the ISS is the latest destination in a life defined by adventure and innovation. In recent years, Garriott has conquered incredible adventures that span the globe including searching for meteorites on the continent of Antarctica, tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda, canoeing down the Amazon, deep ocean hydrothermal vent expeditions and dives to the Titanic. Now, Garriott will embark on his most incredible adventure to date: space exploration. To monitor Richard Garriott's mission, please visit www.RichardinSpace.com.
Garriott was born in Cambridge, England and raised in Nassau Bay, Texas. In 1980, Garriott attended the University of Texas at Austin where he developed the Ultima computer game series. Garriott, along with his father and brother, created Origin Systems, a private video game publisher. In 1992, Garriott sold Origin Systems to Electronic Arts. In 1999, Garriott left Electronic Arts and in 2000 he formed Destination Games and partnered with NCsoft. In November 2007, his latest game, Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, was launched in North America and in the European Union. For more information, please visit www.rgtr.com.
About Space Adventures
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world's first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company's advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.