Richard Garriott, the legendary video game programmer and designer became the sixth private citizen to conduct a space mission aboard the International Space Station in the Fall of 2008. Richard followed in the footsteps of his father, Owen Garriott a former NASA astronaut and became America's first “second generation” astronaut. While Owen joined the NASA astronaut corps and completed two space missions during his career, Richard has helped to usher in another new era in manned space exploration.
Richard's main objective for his mission was to encourage commercial participation. By fostering the involvement of individuals, companies and organizations in his spaceflight Richard hoped to demonstrate that there is commercial potential in private space exploration, while furthering the understanding of space. Richard demonstrated this by taking on various commercial projects, corporate sponsors for his mission activities and by helping companies market their products though their association with an actual space mission.