Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission
In January of 2008, Richard Garriott wrote a 30 million dollar check to secure his seat on the Russian Soyuz rocket. In October, he launched 400 kilometers straight up to the International Space Station where he orbited Earth for 10 days. Richard is no millionaire looking for a joy ride. This is a goal he has been working toward since he was diagnosed nearsighted at the age of 8 and could not qualify as a NASA astronaut like his dad, who was one of the first scientist-astronauts and flew on-board Skylab in the 70?s. Training to fly aboard the Russian Soyuz is much harder than writing a big check ? first consider that all the instruments and instructions are in Russian. Most of the training takes place in Star City ? Russia?s recently declassified cosmonaut training center. Step by step, Richard is our personal guide to the inner workings of the Russian space program. Highlights include centrifuge training, hydro-lab work, water rescue training in the Black Sea and ultimately launching from a remote base in Kazakhstan.