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Seattle's Space Needle Wants to Send You to...Umm...Space

August 8, 2011 at 3:19 PM | by | ()

We've spent the last few years tracking how private space tourism is becoming a capital-T Thing—and of course now that the space shuttle program is dead, private space flight is for better or worse the only game in town.

You might also remember a post from last year about commercial space travel company Space Adventures, which inked a deal with Boeing for vehicles that could be shot into low-earth orbit. We speculated at the time that the world was still many years from regular launches, both because it takes time to build spaceships and because we still don't really have the infrastructure to launch them.

All of that aside, we're certainly getting closer. There are now contests springing up promising to send lucky winners into space, with the latest coming from the team behind the Seattle Space Needle. The iconic tourist attraction was built for the 1962 World's Fair and, as its 50th anniversary celebration approaches, organizers want to recapture some of that futuristic magic.

Since "space" is actually in the name of the attraction, the connection seemed kind of easy. They've launched a contest that will whittle down an expected submission list in the millions to just one lucky winner.

The contest rules are actually a little convoluted. Anyone who wants can, starting today, sign up here. After entries close a computer will randomly select 1,000 lucky contestants who get to move on. Those 1,000 contestants will have to submit 1-minute videos for the public to vote on, because every campaign has to have a viral reality-show-esque element to it these days. Contestants who make it through that part will then go up in front of a panel, and eventually there will be one winner left.

There are countries in the world with Presidential elections that are less complicated than this contest.

The entry deadline is November 30, but you're actually encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Starting in September contest organizers will be having monthly drawings for people who have already signed up. The prizes include a telescope, a watch, an arcade machine, and a Seattle-themed tourist package. Go to it right here.

[Photo: Space Needle Space Race]

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