Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Stunning glamour model Laura Lacole gets closer to her dream of going into space

By Amanda Poole

Sexy space cadet Laura Lacole is one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming an astronaut.

Northern Ireland's top glamour model has been selected from 87,000 people to be a finalist in the Lynx Space Academy competition to journey into space.

With just three weeks left in the three-month window for public voting, the 23-year-old from east Belfast launched her social media campaign and was placed an impressive 43rd in the top 200.

Gorgeous Laura impressed the judging panel and has now been selected to go through rigorous physical and mental NASA-style testing in July at a top-secret location in London.

From there she hopes to qualify for an intensive astronaut training camp in Orlando, Florida, later this year to experience what it is really like to be an astronaut in the final series of the global competition's unique challenges.

Then it would be onwards to space for the ultimate adventure.

Being on board the Lynx SXC (Space Expedition Corporation) space shuttle scheduled to lift off next year is an exciting prospect for the budding young space traveller.

“I can't contain my excitement,” Laura told Sunday Life.

“I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who voted for me for giving me this opportunity.

“Going to space is a dream of mine and it makes it all the more amazing that I got to this stage because of the support and encouragement of so many people.”

If Laura is successful in her space mission there is a chance she will be the youngest person ever to boldly go where no Belfast woman has gone before.

“The current record belongs to the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov, who went to space in 1961 aged 25 years and 11 months,” she said.

“And I'm also told I would be the first Northern Irish person to go.”

When US astronaut Buzz Aldrin launched the quirky Lynx competition earlier this year he said space travel for everyone is “the next frontier in the human experience”.

The 83-year-old, who in 1969 became the second man to walk on the moon, added: “I'm thrilled that Lynx is giving the young people of today such an extraordinary opportunity to experience some of what I've encountered in space.”

Indeed, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is particularly appealing to Laura as she is a big fan of science.

Her wide range of interests include quantum physics, astronomy and cos

mology, and the Celestron telescope she stargazes with is one of her prized possessions.

Over the last five years ambitious Laura has been on quite a journey.

Her photographs have been published in newspapers and magazines all over the globe and she has been busy challenging the stereotypes associated with glamour models, emerging as a switched-on spokeswoman for her industry.

As well as being the Northern Ireland ambassador for the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign and working on hot photo shoots for her legions

of adoring fans, the budding media personality and public speaker is working on a ‘Sexy Science' trademark, a brand that merges her successful modelling career and passion for science.

Laura already provides a healthy body image for young women and says she hopes to inspire them to take an interest in science and follow their dreams, whatever they may be.

She knows the benefits hard work and determination can bring and is keen to represent Northern Ireland in space next year.

“I really think space could do with a young Belfastian,” Laura said.

“It sends a positive message to young people in Northern Ireland, but also all around the world.

“Space exploration needs an injection of young and fun energy to get people interested again.

“I'm currently on a mission not only to go to space but to make science sexy by starting a company that advocates and presents science in a fresh and innovative way.

“Going to space is the ultimate dream for me and I'm sure it would inspire others to dream big too.”

For more about Laura check out @LauraLacole on Twitter or visit www.lauralacole.com

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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