Event: The Austin Forum on Science, Technology and Society will host a SXSW Interactive preview: "Space Exploration with Richard Garriott."
When: 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5. This event is free and open to the public.
Where: ATandT Conference Center Amphitheater (Rm. 204), 1900 University Ave.
Background: Scheduled for March 8-12, the South by Southwest Interactive Festival will bring more than 25,000 technology enthusiasts from across the United States and around the world to Austin for five days of panel discussions, brainstorming, networking, deal making and fun. Hugh Forrest, director of SXSWi, will highlight a new component of the festival focusing on science and space exploration. Special guest Richard Garriott de Cayeux, a key member of the commercial spaceflight revolution, will share how science and technology, among other factors, have made it possible for space travel to become affordable and profitable.
Garriott made history in October 2008 by becoming the first second-generation astronaut to fly to space when he blasted off on the Russian Soyuz TMA-13 and spent 10 days on the International Space Station. Today he's one of the world's leading experts on private/commercial space travel. Currently, he is co-vice chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., a private space exploration company, and is a member of the NASA Advisory Council. Garriott earned legendary status in the video game industry early in his career with his design of the "Ultima" role-playing games, one of the most successful computer game series ever. In 2010 he co-founded the Austin-based social media games developer and publisher Portalarium, where he is vice president and creative director.