About the space shuttle

The opportunity for Mr Simon Tanwas made possible by the partnership between well-known watch brand Luminox and XCOR Space Expeditions, which develops commercially viable space shuttles - the XCOR Lynx space shuttle - for consumers.

Another lucky Singaporean will be given the chance to pilot a space craft into near space - more than 20km above sea level - on National Day next year, according to plans by the Science Centre Board, the Singapore Space and Technology Association, and IN.Genius, a local firm focusing on high-tech energy solutions.

The XCOR Lynx space shuttle is a fully reusable liquid rocket-powered spacecraft that will take off and land horizontally. It can fly multiple times a day, every day.

The two-seater space vehicle will take off from a spaceport in Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea.

Accommodating only the pilot and a passenger, it promises to fly 103km into space, beyond the internationally recognised boundary of 100km between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space. As it can land safely on land, it will be cheaper to operate over the long term.

When the first space flights on the XCOR Lynx are launched at the end of next year, Singaporeans with deep pockets can purchase a ticket to space. The New Paper understands that a few hundred people over the world have signed up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.