A & S Interview: Richard Garriott
A second generation space traveler talks about his upcoming tourist trip to the space station.
- By Irene Klotz
- AirSpaceMag.com, March 01, 2008
Courtesy Zero G Corp.
(Page 2 of 2)
A&S: What is it that you are most looking forward to doing in space?
Garriott: First of all there is microgravity itself. Given the 30-second stints that I've spent in microgravity already, it is one of the most joyful experiences people can have. But even more important is the opportunity to view the Earth. Most every astronaut that I've grown up knowing has described in a very deep and profound way seeing the Earth from space, how you take in the whole of Earth and watch the natural processes in action, whether it's weather or volcanism or active surface activities. On the night side, you can see all the cities glowing and see the power consumption of humanity and also how thoroughly humanity is spreading across the globe.
My dad, having been selected because of his science background, and most other astronauts I know are very low-key about [their experience in] space....I'd go home and say, "Hey, dad, the kids at school are asking me what it was like to go into space," and his answer was, "It was nominal, a lot like training. If you were going to compare it to something, you compare it to scuba diving." But he rarely would express an emotional connection to the experience. I hope that I'm a good candidate to relate back to teachers and students and others what the experience is like on a more personal level.
A&S: Where did you go to school?
Garriott: The University of Texas in Austin.
A&S: Did you graduate?
Garriott: I did not. I'm a classic case. I was making computer games, was actually one of the earliest developers of computer games as the industry evolved. My income in the computer gaming industry surpassed my dad's income as an astronaut while I was in high school. So even though I attended the university for a couple of years, as my income level went up, my grade point average when down and ultimately I decided to focus on the business, which was thriving. The choice was pretty obvious.