January 11, 2013
Space Expedition Corp. Teams Up With Buzz Aldrin and Axe To Send Contest Winners Into Space
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
What do a former Apollo 11 astronaut and a popular brand of men´s grooming product have in common? They could be your ticket to a ride into outer space on board a private, commercial vehicle.
Here´s the details: Unilever´s Axe-brand body spray is currently running a contest in which they will send 22 lucky men and women into space on a trip as a passenger on Space Expedition Corporation´s (SXC) and XCOR's Lynx suborbital spacecraft sometime in 2014.
“The winner[s] will travel 103 kilometers (64 miles) up from planet Earth and out of the atmosphere into space in an SXC space plane with only the pilot for company,” says VentureBeat´s John Koetsier.
“The ship is less than 30 feet long and powered by four XR-5K18 liquid fueled re-ignitable rocket engines, giving it 11,600 pounds of thrust,” he added. “And you´ll have an amazing 12-foot wide cockpit window to see deep space – and the blue planet below – in all its glory.”
While “the commercialization of space“¦ has rapidly changed the face of space travel, opening up exciting new possibilities in a number of areas,” this new contest “hopes to truly ramp up the popularity of space travel with the public by giving a group of civilians the chance to win a seat on an upcoming space flight,” PCMag´s Adario Strange said.
Plus, with Aldrin on board, “the contest immediately takes on a sort of historic flavor given the 82-year-old former astronaut's role in leading mankind into space decades ago.”
The contest runs from now through midnight, February 3; and according to Strange, those interested in entering need to first visit the AXE Apollo Space Academy website, where they will have to create a profile and then complete an essay explaining why they should be chosen for the journey.
“If you enter and are lucky enough to win the first stage, you´ll need to attend ℠Global Space Camp´ in Orlando, Florida during December 2013, where you´ll meet international contestants and compete for the chance to go to space,” explains Koetsier. “Competing involves traveling in a supersonic jet plane, experiencing zero-G in a short parabolic airplane flight, and being tested in a massive centrifuge that will put your body under 6Gs of acceleration.”
“Those who pass the tests will then continue on to the little Caribbean island of CuraÃ§ao, where they´ll take off in the SXC space plane and experience space flight firsthand,” he added. “Tickets for that little 60-mile trip, by the way, start out at $95,000. Fortunately, Axe is picking up the tab – if you win.”
Editor's Note: This story ran earlier noting that winners of the contest would get a suborbital space ride aboard SpaceX's commercial space plane. This was an error and has been fixed to reflect the correct company and space plane. There was also an issue that had stated Buzz Aldrin later went on to conduct the first space walk aboard the Gemini 12 mission. That mission actually occurred in 1966 and was not the first spacewalk mission. That honor is held by Ed White who became the first American to conduct a spacewalk on June 3, 1965 aboard the Gemini 4 mission.