Cheltenham barber Pete Soteriou could go into space with Lynx Apollo
THIS year could be a cut above the rest for Cheltenham barber Pete Soteriou – he could be going where no man has gone before, into space.
Should he win a golden ticket he wouldn't be the first Brit to make the trip – records show seven other intrepid souls have left behind the 7 billion of us here on planet earth to travel the 103km into the heavens.
But he will be the first Gloucestershire-born resident, and certainly the first barber to become a star in his own lifetime.
The 24-year-old Cheltenham resident, who admits to overcoming a fear of heights, is currently riding high in a competition which would see him aboard a planned trip by space tourism company SpaceXC.
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Four lucky winners will fly at speeds of up to T-plus 60 seconds – faster than the speed of sound – before turning to drop back into the atmosphere and glide home.
"It has always been just something you can only dream about, but now space travel does seem to be becoming a reality," said Mr Soteriou, a former Pittville and Bournside school pupil, who works with his twin brother Chris at the business founded by his father, Petri's Barber Shop in Albion Street.
"It is quite possible I can get through the first round. It's all down to votes. With a public appeal I'm hoping to get some extra clicks, although most people think it's a joke when you first tell them."
The first round of the competition, sponsored by toiletries brand Lynx, is determined by an online vote.
Winners then go through to the next round at a "secret location in London" before those left standing are beamed out to Orlando, Florida, to the Global Space Camp for final selection. Here the tests are far more rigorous and physical, and it is here Mr Soteriou hopes to finally touch down.
You can follow his progress on Twitter @petesoteriou and Facebook.
He is using the Twitter hashtag #voteforpedro. Lynx is using #inspace.
To vote visit Lynxapollo.com Pete Soteriou .