First Pinoy astronaut to undergo tough training

Posted at 01/12/13 2:11 PM

NEW YORK CITY – Seeing the earth from space is a rare experience that only 529 men and women have had.

But that is about to change soon. A Filipino or two will be among a lucky group of 22 people from around the world who could win a trip to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere via an online contest.

Axe Global Brand VP Russell Taylor said, “We’re giving people an early flavor and we think that’s exciting.”

After contestants sign up at www dot axepollo dot com, Taylor said 100 finalists will be chosen via social media campaigning and online voting.

The 100 finalists will then go to a three-day space camp. Space camp is all about the survival of the fittest. Candidates will have to pass a medical examination. Then they will have to pass a shortened version of training that astronauts like Buzz Aldrin had to go through to become an astronaut.

Michiel Mol, CEO of Space Expedition Corporation said, “The first training mission is a G-centrifuge. It simulates the G-Forces, so we can train how to deal with high G Forces. Then we’ll take you on a fast plane, a two-seater where you can control yourself if you want to. It could fly the same flight profile like a spaceship, where you can experience 4G, 0G, and go straight up and down. Then the third mission is called a Zero G Flight, where you go on a Boeing, an airliner which is stripped off in the inside so you can float around the cabin for 20 seconds.”

In the second half of 2014, a total of 22 people will be picked to win a personal space expedition aboard a revolutionary space craft called “Lynx.”

Take-off alone is a rare experience. Each one of the winners will find themselves seated next to the pilot, going over the take-off check list.

At an acceleration of 2.9 Mach, the winner will be at the edge of outer space in just four minutes, looking down on earth for the very first time.

Everything that one experiences aboard the Lynx will be captured by multiple built-in cameras which will stream live to earth to share with family and friends online.

A souvenir DVD will also be given to each winner.

Each space traveler will receive the most coveted commercial Astronaut Wings.

Mol said, “You’re an astronaut. It’s internationally decided that this invisible line of 100 Kilometers or 62 miles is the border of space, so if you go over that you’re in outer space. You get an official title of astronaut.

Mol says each flight costs $100,000, inclusive of medical exams, basic training and souvenir DVD.

He also says this is only the beginning of commercial space flights.

Mol said, “The next version of our space ship, we’re talking about 20 years from now, will be able to take you from New York to Sydney in less than two hours. When that becomes a reality, it will change the way we travel forever.”