26 March 2010
News - Tourism (Good)
Garriott Premiers His Spaceflight Documentary
Man on a Mission
by Carol Pinchefsky
On March 25, 2010, at a private showing at New York City’s Core Club, Richard Garriott screened his documentary, Man on a Mission, about his experiences as a spaceflight participant.

Attendees included members of the Explorer’s Club and members of the space community, such as future space tourist (as well as co-founder of Google), Sergey Brin. Sponsors treated the audience to movie theater fare such as M&Ms plus a bar stocked with Russian Standard Vodka, which Garriott described as the official drink of cosmonauts.*

The movie documented not one but two journeys: Garriott’s lifelong journey as a space enthusiast and videogame entrepreneur as well as his journey to the International Space Station ( ISS). Footage includes interviews with his family, his training in the United States and Baikonur, and the flight itself. While in space, Garriott conducts experiments with vision and microgravity and shares the fun he has onboard: jugging, holding an art show, and even making a horror movie, Apogee of Fear.

Garriott took questions from the audience and revealed the answers to some mysteries not included in the film, such as how long it took for his capsule to be recovered after landing. The answer: it was almost instantaneous. “Our capsule landed 500 meters from the mathematically predicted landing point. That is about as precise as it gets. They were waiting for us.”

Most importantly, Garriott related that the cost of his flight was offset by the experiments he brought with him to the ISS. He told the audience that, with the right experiment plus the reduction of the price of a ticket, it will eventually become possible for a spaceflight participant to make a profit from their journey. “There’s many, many millions of dollars worth of work to do in microgravity in the biological sciences,” he said.

Man on a Mission recently played at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival and was an audience award winner. More information about the movie, including clips, can be found here.

Garriott is currently speaking with distributors so he can release his movie to a larger audience. He also hopes to turn the film’s many deleted scenes into 30-minute episodes, which would flesh out some of the movie’s many details.

Other plans for Garriott’s future include taking a ride on a suborbital spacecraft…and jumping out of it with a spacesuit and parachute.

*One assumes that some astronauts would prefer Russkiy Standart over Tang.
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Carol Pinchefsky 26 March 2010
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