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Lord British on Personal Spaceflight

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Space 132

FleaPlus writes "The Space Review has an interview with Richard Garriott (aka "Lord British"), best known as the creator of the genre-defining Ultima series of role playing games. In the interview he talks about his current work as the vice chairman of Space Adventures, and his thoughts on private-sector spaceflight in general. It includes an anecdote about how he funded the initial Russian studies which opened the door for Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, and Gregory Olsen's flights to the International Space Station, but was unable to go himself after the late-90s stock market bubble burst."

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132 comments

asdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319214)

asdfasdfasdfasd

MOD UP (5, Funny)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319229)

"asdfasdfasdfasd"

Clearly this isn't some off topic first post troll. It is more likely an alien race trying to communicate to us via well known alphabet letters about the perils of space travel. Clearly on topic.

Re:MOD UP (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319517)

I've seen that on my screen more times I can count. Finally someone recognizes me as the legitimate leader of the Earth!

On a related note, can anyone translate "aoeuaoeuaoeu"? It's got me stumped.

Re:asdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319310)

WINNER!

question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319329)

any way I can play .ogg files in my browser (Camino or Safari) on 10.4.2?

What a boring story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319224)

Note to editors: No-one really gives a shit about this 'Lord British' person.

Re:What a boring story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319725)

He is actually one of the most famous game producers in the world, with a most respective list of games behind him. The Ultima series (of which Ultima Online shares the same lore of) is one of, IMHO, the best games ever created. UO, of which he put down the foundation for, is one of the greatest mmoRPgs.

OMFG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319237)

I READ THAT AS "FLESHLIGHT"

Sorry... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319243)

but that space ship out in the field in Ultima VII doesn't do anything, oh wait, what is this article about?

Spaceflight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319498)

Obviously you're mixing up what the article is talking about with the space-shuttle sequence in Ultima 1.

Re:Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319797)

Well this is off-topic, but I see many responses referring to Ultima Online, but Ultima was around LONG before that. These are some great games to get into if your're bored. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has some history on the series. Here are some FOSS versions (although in most cases you still have to buy/own the original):

Ultima IV (freeware) with the XU4 [sourceforge.net] engine.
Ultima VI with the Nuvie [sourceforge.net] engine.
Ultima VII with the Exult [freshmeat.net] engine.
Ultima VIII with the Pentagram [sourceforge.net] engine.
Ultima Underworld with the UWADV engine. [sourceforge.net]
Ultima Underworld II with the LOW engine. [sourceforge.net]

Most of these, and the ones I didn't mention can be played with DOSBox. [sourceforge.net] My favorites are Ultima V and Ultima VII. And for good measure here is a free game that doesn't have anything to do with any of this, but it still kicks ass, Star Control 2. [sourceforge.net]

Re:Sorry... YALD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319853)

These days you can't create yet another Linux distribution (YALD) if you don't fly to outterspace!

Re:Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13320800)

Sure it does! It plays Kilrathi (sp?) music :)

Oh really. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319244)

with the amount of crashes i got on ultima, fsck going in space on that guys diligent track wreckord

Re:Oh really. (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319489)

Crashes on Ultima??? When? I have never seen an Apple II crash when a good diskette is inserted.

Re:Oh really. (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319541)

Update: I dug through my piles of Apple II diskettes and found Ultima III. I will be playing it on a IIgs and/or a //c (depending on which room I decide to sit down in, I have one of each hooked up, see my username if you are still confused), and trying to get it to crash for the next week.

Re:Oh really. (1)

SilverspurG (844751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319604)

and found Ultima III
Which is about the greatest fantasy adventure game put together. Especially the soundtrack. I still remember the main screen tune, it still plays in my head, and it still gives me goosebumps.

wtf (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319247)

omg wtf i rtfa and lmao... BFD! aamof wafwot!

(oh my god i read the fucking article and laughed my ass off... BIG FUCKING DEAL! as a matter of fact, what a fucking waste of time)

Re:wtf (1)

f3773t (820782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319736)

My first instinct is to agree with you ... but then on deeper thought I feel that such people are visionaries ... and may perhaps achieve something great.
That is probably what people said of Sir Isaac Newton when he did his work on gravity between 2 bodies in latin ... what a waste of time.
And stuff in it forms the foundation of much of modern day engineering. (I'm talking differentiation and integration).

fuck lordbritish (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319248)

his awful games, arent worth all these slashdot posts!

Stupid editors (-1, Offtopic)

Death To All Muslims (907628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319265)

You rejected my submission on an insiders view of the next version of Mac OS X for this shit??

Re:Stupid editors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319302)

it was prolly a muslim, you rejected reject

200k (5, Interesting)

lockefire (691775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319279)

I think that 200k is a fair price. They do bring up some interesting points. If 10% of American's want to go there should definitely be a market...

Re:200k (2, Interesting)

lockefire (691775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319336)

Well, there are 7.5 million [wsws.org] millionaires in the US with $11 trillion in assets who need to spend their money on something. This looks like a very good option to me and I think our upperclass would flock to it much like luxury cruising in the 30s.

Re:200k (2, Insightful)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319599)

A millionaire doesn't necessarily have US$1,000,000 of disposable income. After taxes, tending to his/her beach house, going to Europe, paying kids' tuitions and maintaining 3 SUV's, probably no person whose worth is below $2 million can afford a trip to space. The high life costs a lot, especially for those who can spare the cash.

Most of those millionaires already have set their priorities on extravagant socializing and keeping up with the Joneses. Dear god, we can't appear middle class.

Re:200k (2)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320656)

Money doesn't make you Upper Class, Money just makes you a richer-version-of-your-original class.

It saddens me when I see all these $1m lottery winners on TV. It's not that they have won the jackpot, it's that they are all invariably, ignorant lower-class inbred pig-fiddling swamp-living hik looking idiots living in trailers. What a waste of $1m.

Hmm, hang on, maybe it is all about the money...

-Jar.

Re:200k (4, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319643)

World Socialist News probably didn't mention that most of America's millionaires aren't rich, just comfortable -- they own their own house in a good neighborhood and have a retirement nest egg (honestly, if you have two professional incomes coming in its hard not to hit a million in assets sooner or later). That doesn't compute with "And now we can empty Suzy's college fund to blow $200,000 on a weeklong vacation for one in space! Whee!"

Cultural difference. (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320146)

Back in the 30s and earlier it was a good thing to show that you were rich it earned you respect. Now if you are super rich then you need to live a more modest life and not show how rich you truly are because people will kidnap your family for ransom, and other nasty stuff. So rich people usually drive fairly nice cars, but not massive status symbol cars, and have good sized houses but not huge ones. If you were to saw a millionaire on the street you probably wouldn't know that he is a millionaire or just someone who makes 80k a year.

Gotta Love the Russians! (5, Interesting)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319288)

But the Russian answer was more interesting. They said something like, "Well no! To even see what would be involved with that kind of mission would cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars just to see how we would do it, then to actually do it would be millions more!" So, the door was opened.

Of course the US says no way no how if its not our way its the highway. The Russkies say rather slyly, oh no we could never it would cost this much... We couldnt afford that, and come on who could our fine American friend? There is nothing that the right amount wont get you in Russia. Whether legally or illegally or that lovely gray area in-between. Some might call it corruption (i tend to call it that when its illegal or hazardous) but i like to call it the TRUE land of opportunity!

No, no, it's all about PURE SCIENCE... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319311)

Of course the US says no way no how if its not our way its the highway...

Well, maybe. I always thought it had more to do with the United State's wanting to stay on the High Road of space exploration and scientific research... into military technology (for the benefit of mankind, of course).

Re:Gotta Love the Russians! (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319377)

Well, of course Russia is more capitalistic than the socialist USA...

ironcially enough... (1)

Phil Urich (841393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319877)

That's entirely the case. Russia nowadays completely trumps the half-hearted attempts of the States to be truly capitalist. Now, whether this is a good thing, or whether the relative moderation and of the American system is better . . . well, that's actually a rather long and extensive debate.

This being Slashdot, then, flame on! :P

Re:Gotta Love the Russians! (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319652)

Why is it corruption to be open to new commercial ideas? To me it's more evidence that NASA is a fossilised bueuracracy. Of course the Russians being strapped for funds have a great motivator to be open minded, but still. That's sort of the point: if NASA was forced to operate with less lavish budgets, new possibilites might suddenly "appear".

Re:Gotta Love the Russians! (4, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319709)

To me it's more evidence that NASA is a fossilised bueuracracy. Of course the Russians being strapped for funds have a great motivator to be open minded, but still. That's sort of the point: if NASA was forced to operate with less lavish budgets, new possibilites might suddenly "appear".

Read the CAIB Report, specifically Volume 1, Chapter 5 [nasa.gov] Section 5.3 entittled "An Agency Trying to do Too Much with Too Little." The Board found problems with NASA... beurocracy is certainly a large part of it. A lavish budget is not.

Re:Gotta Love the Russians! (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320264)

The Board found problems with NASA... beurocracy is certainly a large part of it. A lavish budget is not.

This is typical of blue ribbon panel reports: lets not cut to the chase and instead blame bureucrats and organization inefficiencies for a very simple bad decision. NASA is too big and can't focus any longer. The best thing that could happen is either breaking NASA up into smaller more focused agencies or eliminating all the cruft. Neither of these are going to be easy because allmighty funding is involved.

NASA succeeded before it became a behemouth.

Private Sector is already hot on the ball (4, Insightful)

lightyear4 (852813) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319312)

His honor Lord British may not have been able to front the cash when the bubble burst, but the $200k pricetag is a cost that break the bank of most everyone. Relative to current launch costs (upwards of $500 million [spaceprojects.com] for STS), $200k is a hell of a bargain. Rutan and his Scaled Composites is merely one of many private space initiatives with an eye defiantly set on the future. Space offers extreme opportunities in manufacturing, research, power generation, medical studies, propulsion research, materials science, and a multitude of other investment possibilities. I fully expect R&D of today will within a decade become reality.

We're at the very very beginning of an explosion of space-based enterprise; private spaceflight will be fueled first by corporate interests, and then, with costs more manageable for all, and only then, will the dream of visiting space be realized.

I, for one, eagerly await that day.

Not really. (3, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319326)

but the $200k pricetag is a cost that break the bank of most everyone

I don't think so. 200k is well within the reach of many many Americans (and other nationalities as well). People here spend near that on collections of toys all the time, and at least in Western Washington State, 200k is well below the average price of a 3 bedroom house. People think nothing of financing a $70,000 car, add to that a nice boat, a vacation to some beach or Europe... 200k is peanuts.

Re:Not really. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319356)

i don't know what land of milk and honey you live in, but i'm quite well off and even i would have to go well into hooky to pay for a $200k space flight, and it would mostly be a debt that would take the rest of my life to pay off.

Re:Not really. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319380)

Well, don't try buying a house or car here in Wa state! But sure, not many can pull 200k out of their pockets, but it's not an astronomical number either.

Re:Not really. (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319453)

but i'm quite well off and even i would have to go well into hooky to pay for a $200k space flight, and it would mostly be a debt that would take the rest of my life to pay off.

      Then you're not "quite well off", are you? Let's not kid ourselves. Those who are really "quite well off" do not need to go into debt for this. The problem is merely one of justification, not financing.

Cars and houses are tangible assets (2, Insightful)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319558)

$200k is within so many people's reach for a house because banks will lend people money to buy one. It's a tangible asset they can take ownership of if the buyer stops making mortgage payments. Space flight isn't something that can be taken back and resold to pay off bad debt, it will be very hard to convince a bank to give you a loan for it.

There are many *many* more people who can qualify for a $200,000 mortgage than can afford to blow $200k in cash on a space vacation.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (2, Interesting)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319617)

Space offers extreme opportunities in manufacturing, research, power generation, medical studies, propulsion research, materials science, and a multitude of other investment possibilities.

Same old, same old. It doesn't really offer any of these things. Space isn't a magical fairy land where energy is free and the laws of physics are different. If anything, I think the various space stations have shown that there isn't anything particular exciting to make or research in space, just an awful lot of work, energy and technology even to just stay alive, or get there and back.

The one big thing it does offer is that lots of people want to go there: tourism and adventure. Hence the only things showing signs of commercial life are tourism and adventure companies.

I too want to go to space, but I have come to accept that there isn't anything particular interesting to DO there. Science Fiction made it all seem very exciting but most of those things don't seem likely to happen: warp drives, exotic but livable planets, aliens, new technologies.

Possibly in the far distant future terraforming and colonisation, but the economics have to change before that will happen on a significant scale (ie. big enough to be self-sustaining if Earth goes away).

I suppose that it would be possible to do some propulsion research like nuclear drives, but for that we have to get out of orbital space (for safety) and be able to build things entirely in space - something that hasn't happened at all yet.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319663)

The one big thing it does offer is that lots of people want to go there: tourism and adventure. Hence the only things showing signs of commercial life are tourism and adventure companies.

Except, you know, communications and earth observation. That's where 99% of the "signs commercial life" go. It's only a trillion dollar industry, nothing big or anything.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319826)

I think he was talking about manned space exploration, not satellite business.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319888)

Fair point, but I think we all understand we are talking about things beyond what we do now, ie. reasons for advancing beyond more satellites.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (1)

esonik (222874) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320203)

Well, space offers a nice view. Certainly a motive for tourists. Why would you go to Grand Canyon or Ayers Rock?
What can you DO in space? Sure you cannot surf a wave..but a space hike, the experience of low gravity is definitely interesting. I am pretty sure that sooner or later some crazy guys will find a way to have fun in space.

One problem I see: (space) tourism doesn't really create value, like for example building a house does. You literally blow the money into the air/space. Only as a side effect you help space industry to build up. Compared to serious space industry, like satellite deployment or space based observation the return is rather small.

Re:Private Sector is already hot on the ball (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319812)

> I fully expect R&D of today will within a decade become reality.

I've been listening to this for decades already, but haven't seen much happen. Kistler? Beal? Roton/DeltaClipper? All nice tries, especially the last one, which - in the end - all went the way of the dodo. SS1? Well, a notable first step, but not yet much more than that.

> I, for one, eagerly await that day.

I'm sad to say this, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Re: Private Sector is already hot on the ball (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320353)

His honor Lord British...

'His honour'? He's not a judge!

'Lord British' is a stupid name anyway, but if you're going to legitimise it by using the standard form of address, then either 'Lord British' or 'His lordship' (not both) would probably be the correct form.

(And yes, I spell it 'honour' coz I am British, damnit!)

Given which, it's probably an anticlimax to say that I agree with your main points :)

Inevitable Ultima Comments (4, Informative)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319316)

First, I think the interview attributes spaceflight as part of the wrong Ultima. Ultima III has "underwater" activity, but it's Ultima ][ that uses the Russian rocket program and has the reference to his dad Owen Garriot looking for his shuttle. Ultima I has a small bit of space flight in shuttles. And of course someone will mention the crashed alien spacecraft in a farmer's field in the later Ultima, but that has even less to do plot wise other than being an in-joke about another Origin title.

Richard Garriot has always been a hero of mine for his ability to make a cool game, feed his family, and pay for his computer education with his series of Ultima titles. Probably most others don't share this perspective. But even though I do regret the consumption of Ultima into nothing more than yet another corporate brand of Electronic Arts, I do have a small bit of nostalgia for the guy who created it even if the modern game does nothing for me today.

It is cool to see someone spending their dot com bubble money on things other than fancy cars.

Re:Inevitable Ultima Comments (3, Insightful)

Triple Click (898568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319349)

Maybe not cars, but he does have a sweet house:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia_Manor [wikipedia.org]

Re:Inevitable Ultima Comments (1)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319487)

Interesting, thanks for posting the link. It made me think maybe he should also have been mentioned in the previous article about people mixing reality and MMORPGs:

The manor's medieval design reflects Garriott's interest in the era. The house is adorned with various medieval items such as crossbows, swords, and armour. It features traps and a network of secret passages and rooms. A secret room in the basement contains some of Garriott's most treasured artifacts, including dinosaur fossils, a coffin with a human skeleton inside it, and an authentic 16th century vampire hunting kit.

Very cool house!

Re:Inevitable Ultima Comments (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319637)

Hey, that's really interesting! Good to see someone who kept his sense of fun while becoming wealthy, and built something entertaining. I would love to visit... secret passages, excellent...

Re:Inevitable Ultima Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13320882)

What about Ultima: Martian Dreams?

Hats off to LB for helping average folk into space (1)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319319)

Now let's get out there and get killl us some Rathi.

Re:Hats off to LB for helping average folk into sp (2, Informative)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319337)

YOu bring back such fond memories of long hours in front of the screen shouting out loud "Ok, just one more mission!" I miss Origin. They started the entire big-budget gaming industry.

Re:Hats off to LB for helping average folk into sp (1)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319343)

Indeed. It's sad to hear LB got out just a bit too late, at that. But at least he's still getting stuff behind the scenes!

Quest of the Avatar (1)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319331)

TSR: Will you emigrate to space?

Garriott: When I was young, I used to say that I would immediately take the opportunity to leave for deep space and never return. I still believe that. I'd want to be sure that my journey would be safe, and that it the journey was to achieve a worthy goal, but I would go in a heartbeat!

But first he has to get that eighth part avatar and find out what the true axiom is.

Re:Quest of the Avatar (1)

Kaorimoch (858523) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319692)

Us Avatars can't let slip that axiom. It took me months of dedicated U4 playing to get that far.

If he was smart (2, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319344)

He could have coded a backdoor into Ultima Online, and milked out hundreds of thousands of dollars of online gold. Just like Bill Gates has Skynet programmed on all windows boxes in case his plan for world domination ever gets out.

xXx (0, Offtopic)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319355)

Meh, get off the space ship and make us Autoduel II Rich!

Re:xXx (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319409)

That wasn't Lord British. That was Chuckles, in what I recall was his first solo venture (Wing Commander didn't come until a few years later).

Anyways, Autoduel wasn't that great. A good Car Wars game would be awesome, though. Imagine the potential for destruction and mayhem on a modern PC, rather than the Apple IIe. I'd kill for a good, modern vehicle combat game.

Re:xXx (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319560)

That wasn't Lord British. That was Chuckles, in what I recall was his first solo venture (Wing Commander didn't come until a few years later).

All right, we'll call it a draw [links.net].

Anyways, Autoduel wasn't that great. A good Car Wars game would be awesome, though. Imagine the potential for destruction and mayhem on a modern PC, rather than the Apple IIe. I'd kill for a good, modern vehicle combat game.

Yes indeed, it's a gaming concept that's long-overdue.

'/snubs his nose at the topic nazis

Long term business model for space tourism? (4, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319373)

Sure, every rich joe (and plenty of joes who hope to become rich) will want to hitch a ride into space. But once they all have done it (and, yeah, I know that will take quite a few years), what happens next?

Space tourism seems to me like it might end up being more of a fad than anything else unless we can make space an actual destination... in other words, space stations or bases on $celestial_body that can be used as resorts...

(or at least really expensive restaurants... heh).

Re:Long term business model for space tourism? (1)

DrCode (95839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319447)

I think you just predicted the future, if this all works out.

Re:Long term business model for space tourism? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319571)

It's a stepping stone. There's all these business models that you can do to make a profit, gain experience and drive down the price of space access which people are pursuing now. Everything from launching people's remains into space as a secondary payload (cheap to do, and LOTS of people will pay for it), to suborbital and orbital space tourism, to satellite constellation based radio, broadband access, and tracking. Then there's the guys at the top of the spectrum. Orbital Recovery [orbitalrecovery.com] are developing a space tug to interface with communications satellites and extend their revenue-producing lifetimes beyond original specifications. The space tug is a critical part of space infrastructure. If you want to build a space hotel at the ISS and drag it out to the L1 point (where Earth and Luna gravity meets) you'll need a space tug. Once you've got that in place you're half way to the moon. It's not conceivable to build massive landers in space, with enough equipment to extract oxygen from the luna soil (or that water they keep talking about) and boost it up. That reduces the amount of oxygen that needs to be brought up from earth which reduces the costs for your space tourists. Now that you've got a presence on the moon you can go prospecting. All those craters on the moon, each one created by a planet killer, most of them contain vast amounts of precious metals. Most notably the Platinum Group Metals. If you're on the moon anyways, you might as well pick them up, process em and send em back to earth where they can be used in fuel cells, jewelry and Carmack style monoprop rockets which are capable of single stage to orbit, reducing the costs of space access yet again. And so it goes and so it goes. It's not the Saturn V, flags and footprints space exploration of our parents generation, or the triple stage tractor factory military operations of Wernher van Braun, but eventually the commercialisation of space will result in enough people living and working in space that we can claim with a straight face that our society is interplanetary.

Re:Long term business model for space tourism? (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319896)

But once they all have done it (and, yeah, I know that will take quite a few years), what happens next?

Space tourism seems to me like it might end up being more of a fad than anything else unless we can make space an actual destination


What's wrong with a fad? It won't end there, time and ideas will march on once people know what to expect. History tells us that there are early adopters, then a critical mass becomes interested (which is sometimes denigrated as a fad), then enough people have experience to figure out new things to do with the idea. It's no big deal, and nobody's come up with a practical way to just jump from zillion dollar personal trips to Phloston Paradise. It takes a "once they have all done it" to build upon the experience.

please don't rush. (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319996)

We even have trouble defining the beginning of the universe, so please - don't plan for the end of it yet.

Re:Long term business model for space tourism? (2, Insightful)

Weirsbaski (585954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320045)

Sure, every rich joe (and plenty of joes who hope to become rich) will want to hitch a ride into space. But once they all have done it (and, yeah, I know that will take quite a few years), what happens next?

Well, what do Hawaii, Cancun, and Paris do now that everybody who wants to has already visited?

Re:Long term business model for space tourism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13320051)

Yeah, just like luxury cruises. I mean, some rich people will get on boats, sail around for a bit, and then what?

Its just a passing fad.

Personal spaceflight won't happen in our lifetimes (0, Offtopic)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319375)

...on any meaningful scale and of any meaningful kind, at least.

Modern governments are too interested in power and control over the population to allow people to be able to escape their grasp so easily and permanently.

Space is the last frontier. Modern governments will want to maintain tight control over who goes there and why, because space potentially goes well beyond their reach.

That's why I don't think we'll see any meaningful manned presence in space for a long, long time (much longer than a human lifetime, at least), unless it's strictly military or strictly dependent on earth for survival.

Re:Personal spaceflight won't happen in our lifeti (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319415)

Modern governments are too interested in power and control over the population...

      Power IS control of the population...

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. - George Orwell

lord british wants to go to space? (1, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319376)

well that's easy

on the felucca shard there's a portal northwest of yew

just watch out for the orc camp near there

walk around the portal twice, then enter from the southwest

voila: outer space

he should have said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319441)

fixed from TFA:

TSR: Do you think you will be one of the first ten paying passengers into orbit?

Garriott: I know not.

How can we take anyone seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319445)

How can we take anyone seriously who still goes by the name "Lord British"?

I mean, the guy can call himself "Peter Pan with an Itch" for all I care, but I don't go to him for advice about anything.

Even the Russians didn't take him seriously; they just got some money out of the guy.

Nothing matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319459)

"Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free."

My interview is better (2, Informative)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319554)

Two for the price of one, and it answered THE burning question with regards to Lord British.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23377 [theinquirer.net]

Strangely, after that fateful day by the pool last May, neither Garriot or Spector will get within 100 yards of me, restraining order or no.

            -Charlie

Oh My God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13319564)

Why is anyone interested in what someone with the supreme lack of originality (Lord British? I've never been able to believe that) of Richard Garriott thinks on this matter? He's not an expert; I don't believe he even has much scientific or engineering training or experience. Why are Slashdotters interested?

Re:Oh My God (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320277)

What are you talking about?

Ultima IV was considered one of the most revolutionary computer games of its day. Before "Quest of the Avatar", most of the genre was made up of "kill the monster, gain a level, and go out and kill some more." Garriott attempted to add role-playing to the mix, and he largely succeeded, given memory limitations.

2nd Generation Spacer (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319582)

if he makes it into space eventually, will he be the first 2nd generation astronaut?

Just steal a space shuttle (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13319781)

As any Ultima I player will tell you, it's easy: just steal a space shuttle and then outrun the guards.

As long as this is so easy, nobody will pay for space flight.

Probably modded flamebait but (-1, Flamebait)

panurge (573432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320184)

Is it just me or is it deeply annoying to have someone call himself something like "Lord British"?

Apart from the sheer obsolescent servile baggage of ridiculous British titles trying to suggest that some chinless dimwit is somehow better that the rest of us, there is the simple idiocy of getting it wrong (lords are named after places because the origins of titles lay in land ownership - actually successful land theft. British is an adjective, not a noun. The person who owns a big chunk of Wiltshire is named Lord Bath, not Lord Bathish). The UK would be a nicer place to visit if the citizenry had followed the sensible French at the end of the 18th Century (though the way their so-called Labor Prime Minister is going, it's probably illegal to say that any more.)

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest, even if it gets modded to hell by Etonians who have discovered /.

Re:Probably modded flamebait but (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320248)

please leave your geek card at the table, and don't let the door hit you in the ass :)

If he'd done a better job on UO (1)

jerryodom (904532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13320659)

And not made it so easy for people to duplicate gold and sell it online then he could've made it himself and funded the trip through an ebay account.
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