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Tourist reaches space station

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  • Richard Garriott pays Russia estimated $30 million for trip
  • Video game magnate to stay on space station for 10 days
  • Texan's father was astronaut on Skylab mission in 1973
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(CNN) -- Space tourist Richard Garriott has arrived at the International Space Station for a 10-day stay for which he paid the Russian government an estimated $30 million.

Richard Garriott gives the "OK" signal before taking off on a Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which docked with the space station at 4:38 a.m. ET Tuesday, carried Garriott, along with NASA astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov.

Garriott, a Texan who made a fortune in the video game industry, is the son of former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott.

The elder Garriott, who watched Tuesday's docking at Russia's mission control, flew in 1973 on Skylab, a U.S. forerunner of the International Space Station.

While Richard Garriott said the flight was a fulfillment of his dream to follow in his father's footsteps, he said he will also try to make it a commercial success.


Garriott said he would use the space trip to conduct protein crystal growth experiments for a biotech company co-founded by his father. He is also being paid to wear a watch as a test of its performance in microgravity. Video Watch Garriott's rocket lift off »

Garriott is the sixth private citizen to buy a ticket to the space station from the Russian government.

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