Tuesday August 2, 2011 3:44 pm
Win a trip to space, courtesy of Seattle’s Space Needle
To celebrate its 50th birthday, Seattle's Space Needle is launching a contest to send someone into space.
"The Space Needle was built when our country was in a global space race," Ron Sevart, CEO of the Space Needle said in a statement. "With space travel moving into the private sector, a new race has begun that focuses on the best of what the Space Needle has become–a symbol of the aspirations of today's world of technology and science. What better way than sending a person from our midst into space to mark our first 50 years and look into the exciting future that lies ahead."
The contest, dubbed Space Race 2012, kicks off Monday. Potential astronauts can enter online via the Space Needle Web site through November 30.
Sevart told the Associated Press that he expects "millions of entries." A computer will randomly select 1,000 people who will be asked to submit one-minute videos. The public will then narrow down the entrants and, following a fitness test, a panel will choose the winner, who will head to space on a trip that Sevart valued at $110,000. The winner will be announced next April, around the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Space Needle.
The Space Needle is partnering with commercial spaceflight company Space Adventures to make the actual trip possible. Space Adventures has already sent seven people to space on privately funded trips, and it's developing vessels to be sent into orbit in this contest.
"It is our mission to open the space frontier to the private sector and there is no better way to energize the general public, especially our youth, about space than to offer a flight opportunity to the masses," Space Adventures chairman Eric Anderson said. "Our country has a great history of manned spaceflight, but our future in space is boundless."
The announcement of Space Race 2012 comes as NASA draws the Space Shuttle program to a close and looks to the private sector to take on the responsibility of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, has also thrown his support behind the contest
"This new space race is important to our country in as much the same way as the one that I was a part of 50 years ago," he said. "Today we're embarking on a journey that will carry hundreds of thousands of people like you and me into space."
This article, written by Leslie Horn, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.