An American computer game designer reached space Sunday, fulfilling a long-deferred childhood dream that began with the flight of his astronaut father.
The Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft carrying Richard Garriott and two crewmates _ and the digitized DNA sequences of some of the world’s most famous minds _ hurtled into a clear blue sky from the Baikonur facility on the Kazakh steppe.
Garriott, a 47-year-old multimillionaire from Austin, Texas, is the sixth paying space traveler and the first American to follow a parent into orbit. The Soyuz is due to dock Tuesday with the international space station.. “I’m elated, elated,” Owen Garriott said when a loudspeaker announcement confirmed the spacecraft had reached orbit safely about 10 minutes after lift-off.
The younger Garriott said before Sunday’s launch that he managed to recoup a significant slice of his trip’s price _ a reported $30 million _ through some of his experiments and that he hoped his trip would provide a viable model for financing private space travel.
“What I am trying to do is demonstrate that you can mount a very successful campaign to go into space and beyond because it’s good business,” Garriott told The Associated Press.
The spacecraft is bearing the digitized DNA sequences of some of the world’s greatest thinkers and musicians _ as well as athletes, video game players and others. The eclectic list ranges from famed physicist Stephen Hawking to comedian Stephen Colbert and Matt Morgan, best known as the “Beast” from the U.S. television show “American Gladiators.” The digitized DNA is part of “the immortality drive,” a kind of time capsule that will also include a list of humanity’s greatest achievements and personal messages from Earth. The program will be stored on the space station in case calamity were to one day wipe out the planet. – washpost
The DNA which will be saved if the Earth is destroyed also includes some video game players.
The Immortality Drive is a digital archive of mankind’s greatest achievements and a snapshot of humanity itself. This archive will be stored on the International Space Station to serve as a remote “offsite backup” of humanity, should we suffer a disastrous fate. … Every Monday during August 2008, eight (8) Tabula Rasa players will be selected to have their DNA sequenced, digitized and sent into space. … Tabula Rasa is an action-packed sci-fi massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that puts players in the middle of a never-ending fight for freedom against the alien race known as the Bane. -operationimmortality
The game download is free for a trial but fills almost 3GB on your hard drive, so I didn’t try it.