The flights are will be aboard the XCOR Lynx II, which SXC has contracted to wet lease from Mojave based XCOR Aerospace. The flights are part of a major marketing campaign put on by Axe’s parent, Unilever.
Buzz Aldrin, who stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969, has been engaged as spokesman for the contest. There are two ways to win a flight. The first flight will be awarded a United States resident via a sweepstakes which can be entered on line through Feb. 3. The entry Website is www.AXEApollo.com. Entrants will be asked to write an essay on why they should be chosen.
The contest will be promoted in 60 countries in about 45 languages, for which the contestants will complete what the brand is calling an astronaut profile detailing why they should be chosen. Based on popular votes, the brand will send 100 to 105 finalists from throughout the world to a space camp in Orlando, Fla., for three days of training and testing. The brand and expedition company will choose 21 winners from that group. Both men and women can enter.
Those who win the first stage will attend ‘Global Space Camp’ in Orlando, Florida during December 2013, where the finalist will compete for the chance to go to space. 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 their body under 6 g’s of acceleration.”
The winners will travel 64 miles up from planet Earth and out of the atmosphere into space in an SXC space plane with only the pilot for company, 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. Lynx has a 12-foot wide cockpit window to see deep space — and our blue planet below — in all its glory.
Those selected will launch in the SXC Lynx. The Lynx will take off and land horizontally, like an airplane, and use rocket power to blast into space. It seats only the pilot and one passenger.
Space Expedition Corporation, which reports having already sold more than 200 tickets for future spaceflights, usually charges $100,000 for each flight that Axe is giving away. Flights are planned to last about an hour. The flights will be from Curacao, an island off the Venezuelan coast.
Axe Apollo is running a Web ad promoting the product and this contest. A new ad will be introduced during the Feb. 3 Super Bowl, after which TV ads will run. Another web site for the contest is at www.AXEApolloSpaceAcademy. In a promotion for the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” last July, CBS awarded a ticket for a spaceflight on the Lynx space pl
“When a global brand leader like Unilever makes a significant commitment to a product like our Lynx®, it is a clear sign that commercial spaceflight has entered the main stream of worldwide commerce and truly is the Next Big Thing,” stated Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR Aerospace, “Expect to keep seeing more good news from SXC as they ramp up in 2013!”