One Icelander’s dream of making it into space might become a reality, with enough support from the general public.
There is currently an online competition underway, calling upon contestants from around the world who are interested in taking a trip to space. The top 200 from each country will advance to the National Challenge to compete with others, where the top four from that stage move on to the Global Challenge, which takes place at space camp. Here, one person will be chosen to accompany trained astronauts into space.
Sumarliði Þorsteinsson hopes to be the second Icelander in space.
Iceland is not officially included as a part of the competition, for whatever reason, but Sumarliði lives in Sweden, and has entered as a part of that country. “It has been a long-sought dream of mine from childhood to be an astronaut,” he writes on his Facebook Event page. He says that he has quit his job and his studies in order to take part in the competition.
If he wins, Sumarliði would be the second Icelander in space. The first was Bjarni Tryggvason, an Icelandic-born Canadian engineer who rode with a Space Shuttle crew in 1997. A tentative second was Gísli Gíslason, who is scheduled to fly on Virgin Galactic’s maiden voyage.
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