An Organisation Wants to Give You a Free Trip to Space (Maybe)

By Chris Mills on at

Always wanted to go to space, but put off by Richard Branson's beard (or the hundreds of thousands of pounds he also wants)? A US not-for-profit might be able to get you there on the cheap — but better get crossing those fingers.

Spaceship Earth Grants's business model is very simple: fork over a bit of cash (between £9 and £55, depending on your country), and you get a 1 in 50,000 chance of winning a ticket to space on something like Virgin Galactic. Applicants aren't chosen at random, though — you have to complete a mini-CV explaining how going to space would enhance your life, making kiddies happier and puppies cuter, etc. The final choice is made by an illustrious panel of space-people, including former NASA astronauts.

Although on the face of it, this seems like a pretty good deal — £55 to go to space! — the cost/reward ratio isn't great: if everyone pays an average of £30 to enter, that means that Spaceship Earth Grants are getting £1.5 million for every 50,000 applicants, while they only have to provide one ticket to space for that. Given that a Virgin Galactic ticket will currently run you £150,000, that's not such a great deal.

So, if you've got the mother of all sob stories — or you want to send other people to space! — apply away. The rest of us are probably better off waiting for those space elevators to become reality. [Gizmag]

Image credit: Rocket launch from Shutterstock