An eight-minute film by Richard Garriott shot during his time as a paying civilian aboard International Space Station (ISS) will be release for public viewing after all. Release of Apogee of Fear was in jeopardy of becoming an expensive vacation video until NASA recently lifted their ban and has committed to work with Garriott on it's completion.
Garriott had shot the short film based on a screenplay written for him by Tracy Hickman, co-creator of the Dragonlance share universe. Two NASA astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut helped make the film while in space, effectively creating a few milestones — creating the first film in space and turning astronauts into amateur filmmakers.
Garriott, a self made millionaire as the creator of the Ultima game series and founder Origin Systems used some of his fortune to finance his 70-day trip on the ISS. Though living out every space fan's fantasy, he took the trip for other, personal reasons - to recreate the journey taken by his father, astronaut Owen Garriott.
Garriott's plan had been to release Apogee of Fear to coincide with the launch of Man on a Mission, a documentary about this homage to his father. While that film is currently in cinemas now, NASA had stopped the release of Apogee citing it had been outside the scope of Garriott's agreement;
NASA has since reversed the decision to put the brakes on the film. In an interview with Matt Blum from Wired, Bob Jacobs, the deputy for communications at NASA said: "NASA is working with Richard Garriott to facilitate the video's release. While the project was not part of his original Space Act agreement with NASA, everyone involved had the best of intentions. We hope to resolve the remaining issues expeditiously, and we appreciate Richard's cooperation and his ongoing efforts to get people excited about the future of space exploration."
It looks like this story will have a happy ending with both parties now committed to work on the release of this little piece of movie making and space history.