Universe Today

Mother and daughter win suborbital space trips

A wellness coach from Antigua and her daughter are getting tickets for a suborbital space trip, thanks to the latest in a line of out-of-this-world sweepstakes going back 20 years. And although not a single spaceflight sweepstakes winner has flown yet, there’s still significant value to such contests, financially and otherwise.

“Being able to give people of all ages and backgrounds equal access to space, and in turn, the opportunity to lead and inspire others back on Earth, is what Virgin Galactic has been building towards for the past two decades,” Virgin Galactic’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, said today in a news release.

Branson himself broke the good news to Keisha Schahaff at her home on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Schahaff had entered a contest arranged in collaboration with the Omaze online sweepstakes platform and a nonprofit group called Space for Humanity this summer. She ended up winning the random drawing. Her grand prize? Two tickets for a ride on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity rocket plane, plus terrestrial travel expenses.


Space investor reserves spot on Xplore probe

Xplore probe
An artist’s conception shows Xplore’s Xcraft probe near the moon. (Xplore Illustration)

Seattle-based Xplore says space investor and philanthropist Dylan Taylor plans to reserve payload space on its first mission beyond Earth orbit, on behalf of a nonprofit group he founded.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.


Space for Humanity seeks citizen astronauts

Space travelers
An artist’s conception shows two high-flying travelers looking at the curving Earth below. (World View Enterprises Illuastration via Space for Humanity)

RENTON, Wash. — Space for Humanity is looking for more than a few good astronauts.

The Colorado-based nonprofit group today opened up an online application processfor expense-paid trips to the edge of space, with the goal of giving citizen astronauts a sense of planetary perspective known as the Overview Effect.

This is actually Space for Humanity’s second solicitation, following up on an initial call that went out two years ago. Like that earlier campaign, today’s follow-up was unveiled in conjunction with the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace conference.

The objective of the campaign is to raise global awareness about the Overview Effect — a feeling of spiritual connectedness that has often been experienced by astronauts looking down at the planet below.

Space for Humanity says as many as 10,000 candidates could be selected for the project, with the expectation that those who travel to the high frontier will serve as ambassadors for the Overview Effect once they come back down to Earth.

Get the full story on GeekWire.