Stars align for space junkie
New Plymouth's Hamish Fagg is set to go where only an elite few have gone before - into space.
The 21-year-old has just returned from the Lynx Space Academy Camp in Orlando, Florida where he was selected from two New Zealand finalists to take the mission of a lifetime in 2014.
He won the opportunity after entering a competition run by Lynx men's deodorants.
Mr Fagg was put through a rigorous training programme that included being submitted to G-forces, physical challenges, aptitude tests and competed alongside participants from other countries.
The prize was a seat on the XCOR Aerospace's Lynx suborbital reusable launch vehicle.
In Florida, Mr Fagg met astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon.
Mr Fagg, who has a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in mechatronics, had just arrived home when contacted by the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.
Mr Fagg has been interested in aircraft and space since he was young and told Television One News he had written off the opportunity of going to space as something that would never happen.
His mates were jealous and his mother was worried about him making the more than 100km journey.
Promoting the XCOR project, Aldrin said it was exciting to see young people being given the opportunity to travel to space.
"Space travel is the next frontier in the human experience for most of the world's population," said Aldrin, the pilot of Apollo 11's lunar module that landed on the moon in 1969.
"I've been there, which is why it's exciting for me that Lynx is giving the young people of today such an extraordinary opportunity to experience some of what I've encountered in space."
Taranaki Daily News