Okay, so this is admittedly a nice public relations stunt from XCOR Aerospace. But for the recipient of this stunt, it’s pretty awesome. Imagine the scenario: you’re a typical comic nerd attending the San Diego Comic Con in 2012. Suddenly, there’s an announcement that certain audience members are eligible for a “golden ticket” for a ride to space.
That’s just what the video below is all about. And it’s very obvious that the winner, Mercedes Becerra, is extremely excited about going to space. XCOR’s Lynx (models pictured at top of post), is a sub-orbital spaceplane that will fly to a little over 61 miles above the Earth. That altitude is high enough to earn her astronaut “wings.” I know I would be excited–even if it’s just a sub-orbital flight, which is all XCOR is aiming to do right now. This sort of thing makes me want to attend the San Diego Comic Con even more, in spite of the HUGE crowds. It would’ve been worth it for a ride into space, don’t you think?
The contest was sponsored by Warner Brothers and the Big Bang Theory sit-com. If you look in the video, not only does Mercedes get the ride in XCOR’s Lynx, but they are making very sure she’s quite comfortable and familiar with what’s supposed to happen on the ride, since XCOR is taking her up in an airplane simulator, too. There are some similarities between how XCOR and its apparent competitor, Virgin Galactic, will be achieving their sub-orbital altitudes. However, XCOR is cheaper–around $95,000 per seat versus Virgin Galactic’s $250,000 per seat. There’s the little fact, though, that XCOR hasn’t test flown their Lynx yet, while Virgin Galactic has test flown SpaceShipTwo.
But nearly free, as in only having to pay the San Diego Comic Con admission fee, isn’t too shabby, either! I’m sure the convention was fun. As an aside related to comic books: has anyone seen the new “leaked” Deadpool test footage by the way? Truly, the scene seems to be in the true spirit of the comic book character, which is funny and definitely not safe for work–but you can watch it below, if you dare.
He cracks me up…:-)