OffBeat

Always wanted to go to space? Here’s your chance (for real!)

Space may be the final frontier, but you and 21 other lucky people might be able to experience it.

Perhaps we’ll meet there.

I want to go to space. Bad. Bad enough, if fact, to enter a social media contest (ugh!) and spam my friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (double-ugh). Bad enough to like a personal odor control product — Axe Body Spray.

Yeah, that’s the one in the commercials where the guy sprays himself with deodorant and hot girls pop out of impossible places to get their hands on this suddenly irresistibly luscious dude. Unrealistic and sexist in the extreme, I know, even if it is every red-blooded hetero guy’s dream.

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Above: Vote for Pedro!

But I’m gritting my teeth and bearing it (and maybe you should too) because Axe is running a contest to send 22 people to space. I could be one of them … and so could you. All you have to do is sell your social media soul and whore your connections out to Unilever, which owns the Axe brand, in an attempt to gain precious votes.

The winner will travel 103 kilometers (64 miles) up from planet Earth and out of the atmosphere into space in an SXC space plane with only the pilot for company. The ship is less than 30 feet long and powered by four XR-5K18 liquid fueled re-ignitable rocket engines, giving it 11,600 pounds of thrust. And you’ll have an amazing 12-foot wide cockpit window to see deep space — and the blue planet below — in all its glory.

The trip of a lifetime? I think so:

If you enter and are lucky enough to win the first stage, you’ll need to attend “Global Space Camp” in Orlando, Florida during December 2013, where you’ll meet international contestants and compete for the chance to go to space. Competing involves traveling in a supersonic jet plane, experiencing zero-G in a short parabolic airplane flight, and being tested in a massive centrifuge that will put your body under 6Gs of acceleration.

Little hint: barf and you’re probably out.

Those who pass the tests will then continue on to the little Caribbean island of Curaçao, where they’ll take off in the SXC space plane and experience space flight firsthand. Tickets for that little 60-mile trip, by the way, start out at $95,000. Fortunately, Axe is picking up the tab — if you win.

Enter here. Or, you could just vote for me.

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