Richard Garriott and Charles Simonyi launch tours
from Moscow to Baikonur for us, and from earth to orbit in the International Space Station for Charles (in spring of 2007) and now Richard (October 12). organized by Space Adventures. I'm an investor, an enthusiastic participant, and also a student as I prepare for cosmonaut training in the months to come. I will be the backup for Charles on his second trip to space next March. My medical tests begin tomorrow (October 13).

In this case, for example, the experience SA sold was not just Charles' ride on the Soyuz rocket, but also the entire ground experi- ence for some 50 of his friends... More on all of this later.

In the meantime, I have to say that watching the launch was an AMAZING experience. Perhaps the whole tour was really a marketing exercise designed to get us all to want to head upwards too. And in fact, Charles watched the launch of Greg Olsen, the third private space traveler (Charles is fifth). I'd bet that among us already there are one or two who are now planning to go - not just dreaming about it.

More at and here at Flickr, too, where I will have photos from Mission Control of the docking in about 36 hours.
111 photos · 7,009 views