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South by Southwest: A Space Tourist Makes His Case

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Summary

The author never liked arguing with publicists. However, he broke his personal rule for the rep of Richard Garriott. That man is a videogame entrepreneur. He was a space tourist in 2008. He came home to make a film about his space trip.

Richard Garriott is a son of shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott, and he acquitted himself completely. However, his publicist has a different opinion about that space trip: it showed that space tourism could be democratized. The author had a chance to see Garriot and to talk to him. The author’s emotions were controversial after that conversation.

Garriot told much about the attempts of private commercialization of space tourism and his 30-year vision about that. He showed all of them as evidences of quickly developing space tourism. However, not all projects were realistic. Garriot was so optimistic because of completing a third successful test of so-called Grasshopper craft that could fly up like a rocket on legs and land the same way. Nevertheless, that experiment was not very successful.

Actually, Garriot discussed space tourism as an entrepreneur. He divided 30-year cycle into 3 parts and provided his opinion and vision about them. He sees the first decade as a period of personal space transport development. In the second decade, he believes Mars, Jupiter and other planets to be targeted by astronauts. He thinks that in the third decade people are likely to become multi-planet, as it is necessary for survival.

Garriot also has an opinion about struggling obstacles to space exploration. He presents his thoughts in simple words and reasonably. If people listen to him, his thoughts might become very useful.

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