Space Needle Kicks off 'Space Race 2012'

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel in outer space?
For most Americans the idea seems far-fetched, but organizers of a major birthday celebration for Seattle's Space Needle will turn someone's dream into a reality.

The Space Needle turns 50 years old next year. Officials plan to celebrate the milestone by organizing a competition in which participants vie for a chance travel into outer space.

The contest is called "Space Race 2012" and Space Needle officials say everyone is eligible to participate.

"As you know there is only one better view than the space needle, and that's a view from space," Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart said. "So, beginning today people from all over the country can participate in this opportunity of a lifetime."

To enter the contest, go to the Space Needle's website before December to sign up.  One thousand people will be randomly selected and then have to submit a one-minute video. The winner will be announced next April.

"I think that the biggest thing that people take away from this event, is that people's excitement about space should be reinvigorated," said Richard Garriott, whose father was an astronaut.

"We're about to enter the barnstorming era of space," he added. "It's not just going to be the U.S. or Russian government sending people to space, it's going to be private individuals."

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