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Like father like son: the space family Garriott

Richard Garriott on the space station

One Friday morning in Kazakhstan last October, just as most people were beginning their day, Computer game designer Richard Garriott and the crew of a Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft were landing after Richard’s 10-day mission on board the International Space Station.

Richard had spent a busy time up aloft, talking to schools on Earth, running experiments to help develop new medical drugs, and helping us keep an eye on environmental change. Richards’s dad, former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, had taken lots of photographs of the Earth from space when he flew aboard Skylab and Spacelab1 back in the 70’s and 80’s. Richard’s ‘next generation’ mission included taking a new set of pictures for comparison, to see how well nature conservation projects had been doing, and also to identify new places on Earth where there were ecological problems.

Making space for space

So what did this next generation space adventurer discover? At the moment the results are still being processed, but in a recent email to the cs4fn team Richard said he had "great success with a 500-target list and a great piece of software created just for earth observations targeting". In the future "I would love to talk about the goal, the process, and the results!" he added. We will be making some space available on cs4fn.org to tell you about the software the team created, and to show you some of Richard’s out-of-this-world photos just as soon as they are ready. The countdown begins.