'The ticket changed my destiny'
Updated: 2014-09-27 09:59
By Erik Nilsson and Deng Zhangyu( China Daily)
Four people in Chengdu, Sichuan province, sign up for space tourism. They'll stay in space for 5 to 6 minutes, 103 km above Earth. It costs them each 720,000 yuan ($100,000).[Photo provided to China Daily]
Tong Jingjing's decision to reserve a seat on a spacecraft has propelled her life to new heights.
Tong Jingjing hasn't yet taken the private space flight she has booked but says her experiences since buying the ticket have already been out of this world.
The banker from Beijing says she has been surprised her planned trip (almost) to the stars has made her a star, and new opportunities have taken off before her spaceship.
"The ticket has changed my destiny," says the 41-year-old banker from Beijing. "Agents have been chasing me, offering to turn me into a celebrity. Many companies have invited me to become their spokeswoman."
Tong is among 32 Chinese who have booked flights aboard XCOR Aeronautics' flight on the Lynx II craft scheduled to start ushering tourists into space between 2015 and 2016. She'll pay about $100,000 to travel 103 km from Earth.
Tong is excited to see how viewing the planet from afar will change how she looks at it after she returns.
"So many things have happened since I bought the ticket in July that make me think life is so wonderful," she says.
A 3-D printing company asked her to test its model in zero gravity. A bank has invited her to be a spokeswoman for its credit card. And a cosmetics company offered her 2 million yuan ($326,000) to promote their products, she says.
"They thought I look much younger than my age when they saw my photo in media reports," Tong says.
The BBC will document her life before the flight, she says. "If I don't make it back to Earth, that will be a precious record for my family."