Drink Guinness, win a space flight

Contest winners will ride for free aboard the suborbital Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.

Hold on to your beer!
Belly up to the space bar boys. The dark beer masters are serving up a wild contest that will let two lucky people ride for free aboard the suborbital Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.

The contest, which you can enter simply by filling out a form at Guinness.com by Sept. 24, is but one of 250 special events the company is holding in celebration of the brewery's 250th year of service. The space contest was announced this week to commemorate founder Arthur Guinness's signing of the 9,000-year lease on the St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin.

According to the Guinness site:  You and a friend will undergo intensive astronaut training at Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic's home and launch site in New Mexico. This will include medical checks, team bonding, and astronaut training that prepares you for the hefty g-forces encountered under rocket propulsion. The flight itself will be like nothing you've ever experienced. You'll reach speeds of over 2,500 mph. You'll experience zero gravity, floating weightless around the cabin almost 70 miles above the Earth's surface. And you'll witness the view to end all views, stretching thousands of miles in all directions as you look down on our planet or gaze out into the black stuff.

Scaled Composites is building the Virgin Galactic spaceships  which are built on the  SpaceShipOne and WhiteKnight vehicles that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004.

Virgin Galactic, founded by the well-known entrepreneur, Richard Branson, is currently offering the sub-orbital flights for $200,000. Other space flight groups such as Space Adventures can charge $3 to $5 million for space flights.  Space Adventures sets up flights to the International Space Station and has or will host a variety of high-profile flyers such as ex-Microsoft developer Charles Simonyi, computer game entrepreneur Richard Garriott and tech industry icon Esther Dyson.

The other two big prizes include an undersea trip to a Guinness bar 229 feet (70 meters) below the ocean's surface near the Lofoten Islands in Norway, and a private live performance by the band The Black Eye Peas.

Scaled Composites is building the Virgin Galactic's spaceships  which are built on the  SpaceShipOne and WhiteKnight vehicles that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004.

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