Photo Courtesy of Virgin GalacticMost frequent fliers know that many airlines offer them rewards in the form of free flights and rental car upgrades, but Virgin Airlines is branching into a new direction that will launch its best customers into space. According to US News, the airline will be rewarding the one person who rakes in the most flier points over the next year with a free trip outside Earth's atmosphere.
You have until August 7, 2013 to fly around the world as much as you can to help you upgrade to "Galactic" status. If you're the lucky winner, you'll be welcomed aboard the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space plane. Headed by Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic has been planning to send tourists to space since 2004, and now their sub-orbital flights are nearly ready. For the second place winner, you'll be staying on Earth but you'll get to experience a zero-gravity flight on a modified airplane for free. It may not be outer space but it's still pretty cool.
If you win, there will be some pre-flight fitness tests and training but Virgin Galactic doesn't expect there to be many medical restrictions; they just want you to be safe and excited for your once-in-a-lifetime experience. The training will last three days and include microgravity tips and basic emergency response training. In terms of health, the company put a group of people, with ages ranging from 22 to 88, into centrifuge training and 88.93 percent of them were successful in completing the training, so it seems like mostly anyone will be able to experience space.
If you don't fly as much as will be needed to win the trip, you can join the over 500 people who have, since 2005, placed a $200,000 deposit on a Virgin Galactic trip of their own. While able to hold six passengers and having been tested successfully, the SpaceShipTwo has yet to actually send anyone to space. It's apparently been given the green light to be tested in "powered flight," having already passed "gliding" tests with flying colors, so it's definitely on its way.
For more information visit VirginGalactic.com.