Houston, Texas — Since the start of the Space Age 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of photographs of the Earth have been taken by astronauts and cosmonauts. Now, for the first time ever, the public can request their own personal photo of our home planet through the Association of Space Explorers' (ASE) "Earth Portraits" program.|
ASE, a non-profit organization of over 300 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from 32 nations, in collaboration with spaceflight participant Richard Garriott, who is set to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2008, has partnered with collectSPACE.com, the leading online resource for space history enthusiasts, to offer Earth Portraits.
The public can reserve their own picture from space at: collectspace.com/earthportraits
"The Association of Space Explorers' Earth Portraits allows me a way to share the excitement of seeing the Earth from orbit with enthusiasts from around the world. I look forward to taking their pictures from space," said Richard Garriott, the software developer behind the popular Ultima series and Tabula Rasa games, as well as the son of U.S. astronaut Owen Garriott.
Earth Portrait subscribers will have the opportunity to request a photograph of a specific location on Earth, to be taken by Garriott during his week-long stay on the ISS. Once back home, Garriott will autograph and inscribe each Earth Portrait with a message of the subscriber's choice. Further, every subscriber has the bonus opportunity to receive a collectible item that flew with Garriott on his mission.
"The view of Earth from space has been captivating astronauts and cosmonauts since Yuri Gagarin exclaimed 'I see Earth! It is so beautiful!' on his trailblazing flight in April 1961. Our members, who followed Gagarin into space, all share the same passion for the views space flight has provided them of their home planet. We are proud to be the first to offer the public their chance to own unique photos of their hometowns or other favorite locales on Earth," said Andy Turnage, ASE Executive Director.
Subscriptions to the Association of Space Explorers' Earth Portraits are limited to only 200 people and must be made before May 23, 2008. Proceeds from Earth Portraits will go to support the ASE's educational and environmental programs, as well as further development of the "Windows on Earth" software that Garriott will use to target each of the Earth Portraits.
About the Association of Space Explorers
The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) professional and educational organization of over 300 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from 32 nations. Founded in 1985, ASE's mission is to provide a forum for professional dialogue among individuals who have flown in space; to promote the benefits of space science and exploration; to promote education in science and mathematics and inspire students at all levels; to foster environmental awareness; and to encourage international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. ASE has partnered with TERC (Technical Education Research Centers) in the development of Windows on Earth, a revolutionary tool designed to simulate the actual view out of particular windows on the space station, with targets for photography clearly marked. For more information about ASE, see: www.space-explorers.org
Founded in 1999, collectSPACE.com is the leading online resource and community for space history enthusiasts, including historians, museum curators and conservators, educators, students, authors and private collectors of space history memorabilia. The website offers original news and feature articles, an active discussion board with the participation of many who helped make space history, and the only worldwide calendar for astronauts' and cosmonauts' public appearances. For more information about collectSPACE, see: www.collectspace.com