October 11, 2008

Game Developer Set for Space Launch

An Austin, Texas, man in Kazakhstan is set to become the world's sixth space tourist and the first second-generation space traveler from the United States.

Richard Garriott, 47, a computer game developer, is due to launch Oct. 12 from the Central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, Space.com reported Friday.

Garriott's father, Owen, 77, is a retired astronaut from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

"I'm just very pleased that he has made, for himself, this opportunity," Owen Garriott said, "He's been so personally interested in the opportunities of spaceflight, that I'm just extremely pleased that he has managed to find this channel."

The younger Garriott said he paid about $30 million to orbit Earth as part of a joint venture between Russia's Federal Space Agency and the U.S. firm Space Adventures.