Press Release

Space Needle Announces Finalists in Space Race 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
April 22, 2012
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Eight months after announcing Space Race 2012, a program that celebrates its iconic history, the Space Needle has chosen five lucky finalists to compete in a variety of challenges for a chance to fulfill their dream of traveling into space. The contestants will gather in Seattle next month to kick-off the last leg of the competition, with the winner being announced on May 9.

After more than 50,000 applicants and over 80 Facebook video submissions, Gregory Schneider, John Herman, Lauren Ferguson, Savan Becker and Sara Cook are one step closer to the ultimate prize of space travel.

The diverse group hails from all four corners of the United States – from Arizona to New York City – and spans all socioeconomic statuses. Gregory, law student and father of two, believes that adventure begins with imagination; John, a writer, artist and teacher, conquered his fear of heights by visiting the top of the Space Needle several years ago and repelled from a 24-story building for charity; Seattle-native, Lauren, shares a birthday with the Space Needle; Savan, a major in the United States Air Force Reserve, has been fixated on going into space since childhood and has studied space systems and astronomy in school; Synchronized swimmer and Texas resident, Sara has spent time at NASA acting out her fantasy of becoming an astronaut.

Learn more about each contestant and their passion for space travel:

Gregory Schneider:
John Herman:
Lauren Ferguson:
Savan Becker:
Sara Cook:

Famed astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, will conclude the competition by announcing the winner of the sub-orbital ride into space with Space Adventures, Ltd. at a ceremony at the Space Needle on May 9.

About the Space Needle

The Space Needle is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2012. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has become the number one attraction in the Pacific Northwest, with over one million visitors each year. Along with SkyCity, the world’s first revolving restaurant, the Space Needle is now recognized as the global icon for the City of Seattle.

About Space Adventures, Ltd.

Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecraft. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, and Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.