1 November 1998
Announcements - Vehicles (Good)
First X Prize Sweepstakes Winner to take Ride of a Lifetime to Edge of Space
Teacher's Dream as a Pilot to Be Fulfilled With Russian MiG-25 Flight
ST. LOUIS, 29 October 1998 - PRESS RELEASE

Grand-Prize Trip to Space Remains Within Reach
As the nation watches Sen. John Glenn make history again with his second space flight in three decades, Gloria Buck is finding space travel closer than she ever dreamed possible.

Buck, a special-education teacher from Davison, Mich., will soon travel to Moscow and up to 85,000 feet at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound aboard a Russian MiG-25 as the first winner in the YOUR TICKET TO SPACE(SM) sweepstakes. The first-of-its-kind quarterly sweepstakes is sponsored by the X PRIZE(R) Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to jump-start the space-tourism industry.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Buck said. "I'm a certified pilot, so for me, it's especially thrilling. I just never thought in a million years I'd be traveling to Russia to fly in a MiG jet to the edge of space. I can't wait to see the Earth from that perspective."

"Who would have dreamed 10 years ago that an American could travel to Russia to ride in a former Soviet Union fighter jet," said Gregg Maryniak, executive director, X PRIZE Foundation. "The next five years will see people taking commercial sub-orbital flights, but for now, these high-altitude jets are the closest people can come to flying in space."

Buck entered the YOUR TICKET TO SPACE sweepstakes by using her X PRIZE
Platinum Visa credit card, offered by First USA. Each use of the card
entitled Buck to an automatic sweepstakes entry; in all, Buck entered 35 times via card usage.

The MiG-25 flight is the first of many space-related prizes leading up to the grand prize, a sub-orbital trip into space, which will be awarded upon the development of a commercial vehicle capable of sub-orbital flight.

The next quarterly drawing, in December, will award a first-prize zero-gravity flight aboard a wide-body jet, offered by Space Adventures (TM). The winner will experience 10 minutes of weightlessness using the same parabolic flight technique that Ron Howard and Tom Hanks used for the zero-gravity scene in the movie Apollo 13. In addition to the first prize, more than 200 prizes, ranging from telescopes to calculators, will be given away each quarter.

An initial sweepstakes entry and credit card application can be made by calling a special toll-free number, 877-U2-SPACE (877-827-7223), or by visiting the X PRIZE web site at www.xprize.org. No card application is required to enter the sweepstakes. Sweepstakes rules are available upon request.

Each of the six no-annual-fee X PRIZE Platinum Visa cards issued by First USA features unique space-tourism artwork and substantial savings with a 3.9% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a low 9.99% interest rate. Shortly after the first use of their card, card members will receive a free signed letter from a veteran NASA astronaut and a copy of National Geographic's Orbit.

The X PRIZE, a $10 million purse, will be awarded to the first team to build and launch a privately funded spacecraft capable of carrying three people on a sub-orbital flight to an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) on two consecutive flights within two weeks. Since its inception in May 1996, 16 teams from three continents have registered for the X PRIZE competition.

First USA (www.firstusa.com), a subsidiary of BANK ONE CORPORATION, is the largest Visa and MasterCard lender in the nation. First USA offers credit cards for consumers and businesses under the First USA, First Card and Bank One names with more than 1,300 marketing partners.

Readers outside the US should note that the X Prize credit card and entry to the sweepstakes thereby is only available to residents of the United States. - SFJ
Source: X Prize Foundation

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1 November 1998
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