Start drinking 7Up! Official beverage of Ansari X-Prize offering a free trip to space!

 

WHAT's the prize beneath the cap of that soft drink bottle? A trip into space.

It may sound far-fetched – if not a little crass – but the commercialisation of the final frontier began in earnest when a privately funded rocket, with a pilot and the weight equivalent of two passengers, soared into space for the second time in a week.

SpaceShipOne, adorned with sponsor's logos, twice easily eclipsed the previous flight-altitude record for an air-launched craft – 354,000 feet (107,900m) by the X-15 in 1963 – and so won a $US10 million ($13.84 million) Ansari X-Prize while also raising hopes for space tourism.

One of SpaceShipOne's sponsors and the "official beverage" of the AnsariX Prize, the soft drink 7Up, announced it would be offering the first free ticket into space.

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7Up tops off space flight with ticket to ride