Press Release

Former NFL Player Ken Harvey Teams Up With Challenger Center and Richard Garriott

By SpaceRef Editor
June 16, 2008
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Can you play sports in space? Challenger Center and Richard Garriott, the next civilian to fly into space, teams up with former NFL player and four time pro bowler, Ken Harvey and his company JAKA Consulting group to promote a series of fitness activities that students can do here on earth. Students can then send in a YouTube video with a prediction about what will happen when Richard Garriott performs them in space. Richard, son of Dr. Owen Garriott, a NASA astronaut who flew on the Skylab in the 1970’s, plans to record a series of educational videos for students while on orbit to help demonstrate some of the basic physics that help astronauts live and work in the weightlessness of space. Ken Harvey has recorded a series of video clips for the Challenger Center’s national website to show kids some basic moves like throwing, catching, blocking, jumping and kicking that Richard will replicate on orbit this October aboard the International Space Station.

Harvey stated, “With this activity, that we call, Space Sportilization, we hope to combine sports and space together to help students learn what science principles are at work when we play sports. Kids will help me work on a set of football drills that we will give to Richard Garriott to practice as he travels among the stars.” Challenger Center for Space Science Education has developed a series of science challenges that serve as a launch pad to learning around the upcoming Garriott mission to the International Space station. Before, during and after Richard’s flight, students can learn the science behind common sports activities as they are played on Earth and then predict what will happen when Richard plays sports in space! Punt, pass and click your way to the Garriott Science Challenge at

The Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission. Challenger Center programs raise student’s expectations of success by fostering a long-term interest in science, mathematics, technology and engineering, motivating them to pursue a career in these fields. The network of 50 Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S. train more than 25,000 teachers annually to incorporate project-based learning and use the theme of space exploration to engage students in critical thinking, decision-making, communication and teamwork. To learn more about Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit:

JAKA Consulting Group is minority-owned company offering a strategic process that incorporates sports to accomplish business goals for its partners. JAKA engages the client and their constituencies through integrating athletes, events and other sports platforms into the company’s strategic plans and business goals. This process is called Sportilization. For more information about JAKA Consulting group please visit: .

Shannon Rush, Development and Communications Associate Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria, Va. (703) 683-9740;

If you are a member of the media and would like to request an interview with Ken Harvey, please contact Allen Herbert, Jaka Consulting Group (703) 307-4709;

If you are a member of the media and would like to request an interview with Richard Garriott, please contact: Stacey Tearne, Space Adventures (703) 894 2192;

SpaceRef staff editor.