Indian, Filipino, Egyptian among 23 to win free trip to space

An Egyptian, a Filipino, and an Indian are among 23 who won a free trip to outer space

Vinay Singh, a 27-year-old ad executive in Mumbai, India; Daniel Angelo Roque, a 22-year old Crossfit trainer and De La Salle University psychology graduate from Manila, Philippines, and Omar Samara, a 32-year-old mountaineer from Cairo, Egypt were among 23 lucky people chosen for the trip to outer space.

All 23 winners went through rigorous physical and mental tests, including space-simulating challenges, before they were selected for the once-in-a-lifetime trip. The winners were chosen from among over 120 space enthusiasts from 60 countries after they cleared all the physiological and physical examinations.

The contestants were set against each other on rigorous mental aptitude tests, combat training in a fighter jet, and zero-gravity flights to distinguish themselves as the most worthy of one for one of the coveted tickets to space with Space Expedition Corporation under a project by the makers of Axe Apollo body spray. The tests were conducted in Florida, USA as part of the Axe Apollo Space Academy competition.

The winners will be launched to the outer orbit of the Earth on a private spaceship built by XCOR Aerospace, the US firm. The trip that would cost about USD 100,000 per person is operated by Space Expedition Curacao (Space SXC), a tourism firm.

Emirates 24/7 news reported that operators are hoping to start flying space tourists to outer space using commercial space planes in 2014 or 2015.