Tabula Rasa and Ultima creator Richard Garriott has finally done the decent thing and blasted himself into space.
The enigmatic programmer bagan his journey in a Soyuz TMA-13 craft which rocketed out of our atmosphere from a launch pad in Kazakhstan at around 8am yesterday morning. The craft is bound for the International Space Station and also carries replacement crew, actual proper astronauts to make sure that the jovial programmer doesn't crash into the moon.
Garriott paid somewhere in the area of GBP 17 million for his ten-day jaunt, although according to the BBC a "meaningful percentage" of the cost was covered by companies who have asked him to perform experiments with protein crystal growth whilst onboard the ISS. Obvious jokes on a postcard please.
It's a bit of a family business for 'Lord British', whose father Owen spent sixty days on a U.S. space station in 1973. Garriott senior will be assisting his son from mission control back in Moscow, presumably by telling him where the best loot is hidden and helping him to avoid tricky PVP encounters.
As a board member of 'Space Adventures' Garriott has helped several other millionaires take the ultimate holiday on board various Russian rockets, including the first ever commerical space traveller, California businessman Dennis Tito.