Meet the finalists in the Space Needle's trip to space contest

May 7, 2012

The five finalists in a contest to be sent into space as part of Seattle Needle's 50th anniversary celebration are in Seattle this week.

The final phase of the contest begins Monday morning. The finalists will each face three challenges before the winner is announced on Wednesday. (Meet the finalists after the jump and pick whom you'd send into space.)

About 50,000 people entered the contest, then it was narrowed to five though videos posted online for public voting.

Here are the five and their videos:

  • Young Astronauts by Gregory Schneider - Tucson, AZ - Male, 27

“I want to go to space to inspire my children to turn their dreams into reality; to venture to the cosmos; and to understand the universe.”

  • Send John Herman to Space by John Herman - Newmarket, NH - Male, 34

“I am an artist, writer and, teacher ... but the reason I want to go to space is to instill in my son that fantastic notion that our world is filled with limitless opportunity.”

  • The Destiny of April 21 by Lauren Furgason - Seattle, WA - Female, 26

“I'm a vibrant adventurer, lucky to grow up in the shadow of the Needle, and with a passion for understanding the greater world around me. I'm ready to work hard as the bold spirit of the next generation that will let me be an inspiration to others.”

  • Savan Becker - Space Race 2012 by Savan Becker - Odenton, MD - Male, 41

“The desire to go into space has been my life's singular driving force. With the encouragement of my parents this drive shaped my academic and professional future. As a father, I strive to pass this passion for exploration on to my two sons. Ad Astra!”

  • Swimming to the Stars by Sara Cook - Washington, DC - Female, 24

I always loved anything to do with space and dreamed of one day floating weightless in its depths, but since I couldn't become an astronaut I did the closest thing I could think of to attaining that feeling; joining a synchronized swimming team.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin will announce the winner of the sub-orbital trip into space at a ceremony at the Space Needle after the third challenge.