His grand idea is to send the first Singaporean into space.

And Mr Lim Seng (right) plans to do it in a craft designed to resemble a hot-air balloon, or have a capsule-like configuration. "There are many ways to travel in space, it doesn't always have to be with rockets," he said.

Mr Timothy Kauffman, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) engineer and CEO of TriVector International, which provides aeronautical engineering expertise to agencies like Nasa, believes Mr Lim's plan is a "perfectly reasonable venture".

Mr Lim also spoke briefly about his plan to build a fleet of similar capsule-like craft that can transport between four and six people to space for at least a couple of hours, before returning to Earth.

Said Mr Lim: "We have to prove that a country as small as Singapore can match the rest of the world. We also have to prove to Singaporeans we can do this."