Richard Garriott has been to space, but his upcoming game, Shroud of the Avatar, is not in space. It is on Kickstarter, and according to Garriott himself in a recent interview, that's because it allows him to release a game without oversight. Garriott claims that the unnamed games he's released to sub-par reception have been chiefly the result of publishers meddling with the finished product, whereas the games he has been allowed to finish his way have been classics.
While the game is not explicitly tied to the Ultima franchise for copyright reasons, Garriott sees it as very much being in the spirit of the older games, since Ultima IX ended with the world more or less destroyed. He also discusses influences on the game world's design and how players can switch between single-player and online modes of operation without a problem. If you're looking forward to the game, you can get more details in the full interview.