ComicCon just wrapped up in San Diego – the annual convention of comics, video games, science fiction, and their fans. This particular ComicCon delivered a big surprise to Big Bang Theory fan Mercedes Becerra: a suborbital spaceflight ride aboard XCor’s Lynx vehicle.
“We are so proud and grateful to be part of this adventure,” said Chuck Lorre, the television series’ executive producer. “The Big Bang Theory, boldly going where no sitcom has gone before!”
The Big Bang Theory is a situational comedy centered on the misadventures of a group of socially inept physicists and engineers. The most recent season has featured aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz, played by Simon Helberg, who developed hardware for various NASA missions culminating in his own “trip” to the International Space Station. Real life astronaut Mike Massimino participated in the fictional Soyuz launch in the show’s May 10 season finale.
Following up on the space theme, producer Warner Brothers sponsored a free trip aboard the Lynx for one of its fans. A ticket for the Lynx generally sells for $95,000. After a staged exchanged in which Helberg was offered and declined the honor, the prize was awarded to the holder of the golden ticket distributed at random at the panel’s opening. The presentation was made by NASA veteran and XCor test pilot Rick Searfoss.
The Lynx is designed to carry one pilot and one passenger to an altitude above 100 km. The reusable vessel employs a horizontal takeoff, horizontal landing approach. According to the latest information from XCor, tourist flights will begin in 2014.
Awarding of Lynx tickets seems to be all the rage this year. In February, a Lynx ride was the grand prize for a drawing at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference. That prize was won by a very surprised NASA researcher, Thomas Goodwin.
Below, watch as Mercedes Becerra wins her ticket: