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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Life and Universe

Bizarre contest that allows winners to travel to space
Serena Menon, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 09, 2013
First Published: 13:53 IST(9/3/2013)
Last Updated: 16:48 IST(9/3/2013)

As part of an incredibly bizarre contest, 22 lucky winners from around the world will get a chance to travel to outer space in 2014. You read that right. We said space. “We want to help guys feel like heroes. Our newest Axe variant, Apollo, has been named in honour of the Apollo space missions… we will be sending guys into space, giving them the opportunity to go where few men have gone before,” says Kedar Teny, category head, deodorants, Hindustan Unilever.

Once the participation process is completed, three Indians will be shortlisted on the basis of who receives the maximum votes. “They will then undertake a series of challenges (at the Global Space Camp in Florida, USA) to train,” says Teny. “They will be judged on challenges like flying in a high-performance aircraft with experienced former fighter pilots (for take-off); a parabolic flight that recreates the weightlessness of space (for zero gravity) and a centrifuge machine that the same extreme G-Force astronauts are exposed to during landing.”

SpaceOne of the three Indians will eventually be picked for the final journey. Ask Teny why the website says the company “is scouring the world to recruit a few brave men” and not women, and he explains, “Typically, an Axe user is a young male. Hence the communication always targets men. However, the contest is open to all citizens of India over the age of 18.”

Those interested can register for the event till June 30. The names of the three winners will be revealed on July 15. “The Global Space Camp will take place in December 2013 and the actual space travel will occur once passenger space travel is pioneered by Space Exp-edition Corporation (SXC). TheSXC is projected to begin in 2014,” he says, adding, “The total flight time will be 60 minutes during which the winners will experience weightlessness and extreme G-Force.”

The highlight of this trip, however, is the association with Buzz Aldrin, the second person to have ever walked on the moon. “He is the ultimate space hero. And has been a longtime supporter of sending more people into space, which is why we’ve made him the head of the Axe Apollo Space Academy,” says Teny.

To participate
Buy a can of Axe Apollo. Call 099873 33333 and answer a question on the phone and key in the batch code number mentioned on the deodorant can. Keep this can safe. Then log on to www.axeapollo.com, upload a picture and submit it. Then, invite people to vote for you via social media and other sources. Three people from India with the highest number of votes will get a chance to go to the Global Space Camp in Florida, USA.


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