Air hostess picks up chocolate bar, wins space trip

PARIS Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:04pm EDT

1 of 2. French air hostess Mathilde Epron speaks during an interview with Reuters in Paris July 17, 2008. Epron will become one of Europe's pioneer space tourists after picking a chocolate wrapper out of the rubbish and finding a winning number in a competition to fly to the upper reaches of the earth's atmosphere. A spokeswoman for Nestle in France confirmed that Epron had won the prize to take a flight on a four-seater, fighter-sized aircraft built by Rocketplane, a company that builds aircraft intended to provide cheap flights into space.

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

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PARIS (Reuters) - A French air hostess will become one of Europe's pioneer space tourists after picking a chocolate wrapper out of the rubbish and finding a winning number in a competition to fly to the upper reaches of the earth's atmosphere.

Mathilde Epron, 32, said she had bought a Kit Kat chocolate bar at her local supermarket but initially threw the wrapper in the bin, telling herself that "it's only others who win."

Two hours later, thinking back to the competition, she decided to try her luck and fished the wrapper out of the bin, only to find a code marked inside.

"For someone who works in air travel it's really a dream come true," she told France Info radio.

A spokeswoman for Nestle in France confirmed that Epron had won the prize to take a flight on a four-seater, fighter-sized aircraft built by Rocketplane, a company that builds aircraft intended to provide cheap flights into space.

She will receive four days of astronaut training in Oklahoma City in the United States before boarding the Rocketplane XP aircraft which will reach an altitude of 100 km (60 miles) and allow a five-minute experience of weightlessness.

(Reporting by Joseph Tandy; Editing by James Mackenzie)

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