Published May 15, 2012
A startup called I Dream of Space sells $10 posters that come with a chance at winning a much more expensive ride on a suborbital spaceship.
"It's pretty simple really, most people LIKE the idea of going to space -- but can't afford a ticket ... so every time someone buys a $10 poster from us, we put them into a draw to win a REAL ticket to space," the startup's website says.
The money I Dream of Space collects could go toward a $200,000 ride on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo or a $95,000 seat on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx.
It may be years before one of those spaceflight companies makes a commercial flight, but Ruben Metcalfe, a 25-year-old New Zealander who co-founded I Dream of Space, is confident his lofty plan will pan out.
"Given the kind of progress we're seeing with these companies, and the customers lining up, it's going to happen soon. It has to happen," Metcalfe told Wired.
He cautioned, however, that entrants "should be comfortable with the fact that it will be years before they can go."
The startup says on its website that it has not locked in an official partnership with one of those private companies yet, but claims it has spoken to spaceship operators who say they will honor a ticket bought for the raffle's winner.