Tucson man gets ready to rocket to outer space

Tucson man gets ready to rocket to outer space

CREATED May 22, 2012

Reporter: Corinne Hautala

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – A Tucson man has won a once in a lifetime experience.  He’s beat out thousands of others to win a trip to outer space.      

Gregory Schneider is a recent UA law graduate, father, husband, and without NASA training, a soon-to-be space traveler.

“It felt like a one in a million shot,” said Schneider.

He won the rare chance to go to outer space in a contest that he found online.

“I saw this banner ad and it said, 'You could win a free trip to space.'  So, of course I clicked on it,” he explained.

Soon after completing the contest form, submitting basic information, he was notified that he was one of 1,000 randomly selected to move on.  Schneider then had to submit a two minute video.  In his video, he shared why he wanted to go to space.

“I wanted to inspire my kids,” he said.  “Dream big and get interested in the universe and the cosmos and space travel and all the amazing things you can do with science.”

Judges loved his video and he moved on to the next round, which was posting the video online and having the public vote for their top five competitors.  Gregory had the most votes and was invited to Seattle to compete against four others.

In Seattle, Schneider and the other competitors had to complete a series of mental and physical challenges.  After several days and the final challenge was completed former astronaut Buzz Aldrin announced Schneider the winner.

“For me, just some ordinary civilian, to all of a sudden have the opportunity is very humbling and I'm hoping I can make the most of it,” he said.

The rocket Schneider will be in is still being tested by engineers, so there isn’t an exact date for his trip to space, but he said he thinks it is still a year or two away.