Wheathampstead woman soaring ahead in her space race

Sue Nelson, wannabe space traveller

Sue Nelson, wannabe space traveller - Credit: Photo supplied

A LAST-minute surge of votes by Herts Advertiser readers has helped push a Wheathampstead science buff firmly in the running to fly into space.

Annoyed by a sexist advertising campaign exhorting blokes to “leave a man, come back a hero” by flying 103km above earth, Sue Nelson launched her own space race.

The science broadcaster and writer was shocked that an international Lynx deodorant campaign offering 22 astronaut places on a new space plane was aimed specifically at men, and banned women from entering in eight countries.

Lynx has been promoting the space trip by asking people to sign up to its space academy, then getting their friends to vote for them, with the top 200 advancing to a national challenge.

Since launching her attempt to don a spacesuit and follow in the footsteps of the first British woman to go into space, Helen Sharman, Sue’s position in the space race was now at number 154 as the Herts Advertiser went to press.

Those 200 voted through in the UK will be whittled down to four recruits following a series of challenges in London, who will then be put through gruelling mental and physical tests in Orlando, Florida, for their chance to join an international crew.

The lucky 22 chosen from around the globe after the second lot of tests in the United States will be trained and then travel 103km above earth with space expedition company Spacexc.

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Sue said: “Technically I could get through to the next round. I’m absolutely delighted but it’s getting tougher now as it’s less than a week until the voting deadline, so sometimes I fall a few places as people below me get more votes.”

She added: “I’ve been thrilled by the local response and the support of the Herts Ad made a huge difference. It’s brilliant that everyone’s got behind my bid.

“Lynx products are aimed at young men and any women featured in their ads are usually 20-something nubile arm candy.

“I love the thought that a woman old enough to be the mother of their target age range is now in with a chance of representing their brand in space – the irony!”

Votes are open until the end of this month. Go to https://www2.axeapollo.com/en_GB/343780/sue-nelson