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. A Spaceship For Sale On Ebay May Win Half A Million Dollars

A spaceship inspired by beautiful novelist Vanna Bonta is for sale on eBay, winning the high bidder a place in aerospace and literary history and possibly half of a million-dollar grand prize.
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 07, 2007
A rocket competing in a NASA Lunar Lander competition has been named 'Lauryad,' after the spaceship from American novelist Vanna Bonta's quantum fiction FLIGHT trilogy, and is being auctioned on eBay, Integrated Media announced. The rocket's team is competing in the Lunar Lander Challenge taking place this October (07) against several contenders, including video game whiz John Carmack (Doom, Quake), for a grand prize of one million dollars.

The Chief Engineer, Allen Newcomb, also worked on SpaceshipOne, genius aviation maverick Burt Rutan's manned spacecraft that won the 10 million dollar Ansari X Prize. Newcomb said he was inspired by Bonta's space- adventure novel Flight, and also Bonta's aviation tribute video "What Goes Up."

The high bidder on eBay will take home the Lauryad spaceship itself, and also half of any prize money it wins. The spaceship will be competing in two categories for several prizes.

Bonta, a prize-winning poet and actress, blogged on myspace about being informed the lunar lander was named Lauryad. "I was really gobsmacked. It's very moving ... I'm deeply humbled to think I've in any way been inspiring, especially toward a goal I respect so immensely."

Bonta also stated, "The really exciting focus here is not this detail, though -- it's the event and others like it that encourage, support and celebrate the enterprising innovation of pioneers working to give humanity wings."

FLIGHT fans worldwide are no doubt rooting for a physical incarnation of the fictional Lauryad to soar to victory, but it's not just fiction aficionados. The bidding has begun and several companies are in talks about sporting their logo on the side of the lunar lander for the global media exposure and positioning panache.

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NASA Sets Out Tough Training To Reach For The Stars
Washington (AFP) Feb 06, 2007
Would-be US astronauts have to undergo rigorous training and stringent selection procedures if they want to join an elite body of just 135 people, mostly men, and journey to the stars. With more than 4,000 applicants chasing just 20 places available every two years, competition is tight and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sets tough standards for the physically and mentally challenging job.

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