Space Tourist Video Gamer Blasts Off

Son of NASA astronaut hitches ride on Russian rocket for $35M
By Elizabeth Wolff,  Newser User
Posted Oct 12, 2008 4:44 AM CDT
US space tourist Richard Garriott, left, and US astronaut Michael Fincke, members of the 18th mission to the International Space Station, speak during a news conference in Kazakhstan, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – US video game magnate Richard Garriott blasted off into space today aboard a Russian rocket—and all it cost him was $35 million. The "space tourist" was cheered on by his father, a one-time NASA astronaut, Reuters reports. "I can see he is really enjoying it like a little kid in a candy shop," said Garriott's girlfriend. The craft is already in orbit and will dock with the International Space Station in two days.

After ten days in space Garriott will return to earth aboard a Soyuz re-entry capsule which has malfunctioned on its last two flights. "We are a symbol of what people can be doing working together. In space there is no room for politics," said Garriott, referring to tensions between Russia and the US.

(Read more space tourism stories.)