We wanted to get married in space – or as close to space as possible – or under space-like conditions, so Noah and I had discussed having an astronaut officiate our wedding. Sea captains can marry people, right? So why not astronauts? Buzz Aldrin was way too expensive, so Zero G suggested Richard Garriott.
Noah flipped out. “You mean Lord British?!” Noah played Ultima back in the day.
Richard Garriott was the sixth private space explorer – apparently NASA carefully guards who can be called an “astronaut.” Garriott’s father was an astronaut, and growing up his family lived in a suburb where everyone’s dad was an astronaut. Garriott’s eyesight wasn’t perfect, so he was summarily disqualified from NASA at a young age. Many years later he used his Ultima fortune to hitch a ride to space with the Russians. There’s a good Wired article about it here.
We’re excited to have Garriott as our officiant because we hear he loves Dungeons and Dragons. (Noah is upset that our wedding is interfering with our Tuesday night gaming sessions.) We’ve also heard some wild rumors about Garriott from our Texan friends. For example, we heard Garriott built a hobbit village for his friends as a kid, and that he has a guest house that’s only opened at Halloween as a haunted house. The Wired article linked to above mentions that Garriott’s mansion has secret passages. Awesome.
In all seriousness, Noah and I are throwing a lot of money at our crazy wedding because private space travel is a cause we really believe in. We really think the future is space, and that private citizens ought to be able to travel there. We want to promote space travel as a positive thing. Basically we agree with this organization’s vision.
Garriott is scheduled to be a guest speaker at the Space Business Forum next week in New York City.
I had only heard of “Space Food Sticks” on Simpsons episode 3F31, “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular” – one of my favorite episodes of all time.
Troy: [voiceover] Earlier this year, Homer's long-lost mother
returned. And so did a long-lost care package.
[shot of Homer eating food from old care packages]
Mother: Homer, please: you don't have to wolf down that 25- year-old
candy just to make me happy.
Homer: [pause] But it won't make you unhappy, right? [bites]
Hey! Space food sticks! Oh, I wish I had _these_ on my space
adventure. Did you know I was blasted into space two years ago,
Mother: Well, sure. I read all about it. It _was_ national news.
[fearfully] Do you _still_ work for NASA?
Homer: No, I work at the nuclear power plant.
Mother: Oh, Homer.
Homer: Well, you'll be happy to know I don't work very hard. [quietly]
Actually, I'm bringing the plant down from the inside
[taps nose secretively]
It turns out Space Food Sticks were real, and they’re back! Check out the retro commercials at spacefoodsticks.com.
Noah and I found out about Space Food Sticks in a quest to find Astronaut Ice Cream for our wedding. Astronaut Ice Cream was the space snack of the 1980’s, but Space Food Sticks were popular before Noah and I were born. They went off the market in the 1970’s.
The Funky Food Shop is run by Eric Lefcowitz of the Retro Future blog. Lefcowitz is kindly sending us some Space Food Sticks and supplying the Astronaut Ice Cream for our wedding!
I’m excited about trying Space Food Sticks. I bet they taste like Power Bars or CalorieMate.
My space wedding dress was designed, in part, for a company offering low-earth orbit weddings on a rocketplane. It’s a Japanese company, but the first flights in 2011 will fly out of Oklahoma, and starting in 2012, out of Hawaii. Japan is totally obsessed with Hawaii.
Google’s translation of spacewedding.jp has some hilarious Engrish:
[Q] Is it possible to space out?
[A] is not out to space.
[Q] What is insurance?
[A] is available so that you can arrange the insurance space. For details and specific rates are not determined at this time.
[Q] Do you get off the space station?
[A] can not go overboard. I can not even get off the space station.
Below is the original Japanese text:
[ Q ] 宇宙空間へは出られますか？
[ A ] 宇宙空間へは出られません。
[ Q ] 保険はどのようになりますか？
[ A ] 宇宙保険を手配できるようご用意しています。 具体的な料率や内容につきましては、現時点では決定しておりません。
[ Q ] 宇宙ステーションに降りられますか？
[ A ] 船外に出ることはできません。宇宙ステーションにも降りられません。