Richard Garriott had more reason than most to dream the Apollo moon landings would rapidly expand space travel. His father was a NASA astronaut, as were many of his neighbors near Texas' Johnson Space Center.
"I never think of the future" Albert Einstein once said, "It comes soon enough". But at the beginning of the 21st Century even the great scientist might have been taken aback by the pace of scientific and engineering advances of recent times.
Ah, the holidays. There's nothing like scuffling at 6 a.m. with bleary-eyed shoppers over the last Nintendo Wii, or watching the kids wail as they sit on Santa's lap, or spending some "quality" time with the in-laws for even the most spirited of souls to start dreaming of another place - preferably one that's far, far, far away.
Who hasn't looked up at the stars and wondered what it must be like to travel through space? Only a fortunate few have made the trip, and at enormous cost. But soon, the excitement and adventure may be within reach of many more of us.