Spaceflight contest blasts off

Space Adventures teams with Space Needle firm to offer spaceflight contest

The company behind Seattle's iconic Space Needle wants to send you into space.  The company, Space Needle LLC has teamed with space tourist company Space Adventures to blast someone into suborbital space to celebrate the Seattle structure's 50th anniversary.

Wining the company's Space Race 2012 contest won't be easy. First, contestants will enter an online sweepstakes to identify 1,000 contestants by November 30, 2011, followed by a competition with video submissions, judging to narrow the contestants, and selection of finalists through voting by the general public. These finalists will then compete in 2012 a series of challenges to determine the ultimate winner of the trip to space.  The grand prize is worth about $110,000.

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There is no specific launch date at this point but, once specific technical and safety milestones are met, more details and firm dates will be announced, the group stated. 

"We have structured our program to include legal US residents over the age of 18.  However, there will be a number of requirements that need to be met by the person who ultimately wins the trip to space, including a physician's exam and signing a medical waiver.  Please see our Official Rules for more details on eligibility.  No special skills will be required, but participants should be in good overall health.  Clients will be fully trained and prepared for their spaceflight, and may also require supplemental training to their flight program that could include a ZERO-G flight and centrifuge run," the group stated.

Space Adventures has set up other space flights for the likes of  tech-industry guru Esther Dyson, ex-Microsoft developer Charles Simonyi and computer game entrepreneur Richard Garriott on board Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

The Space Needle company is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Seattle landmark which was opened in 1962.

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