Richard "Ultima" Garriott owns a Sputnik


New York Times reporter John Schwartz has an amazing piece online today, I understand he's been working on it for a half a year or so. The story is about guy who owns his own Sputnik -- or, more precisely, one of the spares built before the initial launch. He bought it during the 1990's post-Soviet fire sale. There's a nice multimedia slideshowmajig along with the article.

So, OMG you'll never guess who the Sputnik owner is. Oh that's right, I put it in the headline for this post. Dude. It's Richard LORD BRITISH Garriott, the creator of Ultima and a very serious space-stuff collector.

Link to "Texas Man Linked to Past and Future of Space Exploration by Sputnik and Soyuz."

The story by Schwartz comes out in the same week as Sputnik's 50th anniversary, and on the same day as a related piece from Robert Pearlman, at CollectSpace.com. Don't miss the entire "10-famous-Sputniks countdown" feature on that site: Link. Image by Will Van Overbeek for the NYT.

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  1. I met Garriott at a trade show once. I was a lowly booth monkey in a bad suit, demonstrating lousy CD-ROM software* to clueless appliance-store buyers, but he stopped to chat when I recognized the name on his badge.

    It’s so cool that Garriot, and other game designers and software entrepreneurs who made it big, are into cool stuff like this. Put another way:

    Geeks make better millionaires.

    * Back when being on a CD-ROM made the software special!

  2. “His father brought home gadgets NASA was testing, like the early version of a night-vision scope that Richard Garriott used to track the family cats in the backyard.”

    Totally sweet.

    Also, as mentioned in the article, Garriott is an investor and future-participant in Space Tourism. More at The Space Review.

  3. There’s no coincidence that “Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa” is launching at the end of the month, right?

  4. doesn’t anyone call him “lord british” any more?? sigh, the gaming history lost on today’s youth…

  5. Ultima II included a space flight sequence!

    As I recall, Uranus was populated by court jesters.

  6. I make…Mr. Garriott has–I make antiprotons and flash cook them into top quarks (and mebbe higgsen).

    but no where have i seen a reliquary of such important human-sanctified, objects.

    A sincere wish of good to Mr Garriott, may he keep and bring the magic out, to infect people, from time to time, who need it.

  7. Tabula Rasa is delayed by two weeks, and now I see the head guy is goofing off with his space hobbies. What does that say to all the pre-order customers? Perhaps, this is the real reason the game is delayed. I will say that pretty much all MMO’s are delayed, but those are from technicalities, not the playboy goofing off.

  8. Tabula Rasa is delayed by two weeks, and now I see the head guy is goofing off with his space hobbies. What does that say to all the pre-order customers?

    Get an alternate hobby of your own, maybe? I mean, two whole weeks! Jeepers!

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