Lunar Lacey aims for a trip in space


imageYou never know who you’re going to meet on the Joy Trip of life. With some time to kill on my way to the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Colorado I stopped to visit an old friend in the town of Golden. Mark Cohen is a sales representative for the Skylark Group, an agency that manages products and services for The North Face in the Rocky Mountains. Over an amazing lunch at Bob’s Atomic Burger Mark told me about one of his co-workers who hopes to make a pretty amazing trip of her own. Lacey Lynn McQuinn, a specialty sales analyst for the firm, wants to take a ride into space.

“It’s been a life-long dream ever since I was little. I think I have an infatuation with a place that no one else really goes. Like the unattainable dream,” she said in an interview. “Ever since middle school I’ve been in love with space and this could be the only way for me to get there. I’m not going to be an astronaut in real life so why not try to find another way.”image

The way McQuinn plans to get into space is by winning a national contest. Originally announced in a commercial for Axe Apollo body spray during the 2013 Super Bowl this once in a lifetime opportunity was opened to the general public to enter a drawing for a chance to win a ride on a sub-orbital shuttlecraft operated by the Space Expedition Corporation. In this text stage in the emerging business of space tourism, passengers get to experience the thrill of traveling faster than the speed of sound, a 103KM view of the Earth below, zero gravity weightlessness and an ultra high G-force reentry into the atmosphere. Definitely one wild ride!

Competing against thousands of contestants nation-wide McQuinn, known now by her followers as Lunar Lacey, made it onto the leader board of the top ten contenders and is currently ranked number six. As the only women in field exclusively of men she hopes to secure the votes of a few more thousand fans to push her at least into second place. The first two finishers will be selected to go to Space Camp for training and from there the top graduate goes to the launching pad.

“I have a lot of passion and motivation. I think above everyone else in this contest I think I’ve been the one who’s gone above and beyond to get these votes,” McQuinn said. “I’ve decked out my car, I’ve made a YouTube Video. I’ve gone out to the bars downtown in my spacesuit. It would be devastating, devastating if I didn’t get to go.”

Like most reality inspired entertainment today it all boils down to a popularity contest. McQuinn could be selected for Space Camp by popular vote of the people. With her can-do attitude and dedication to the selection process she worth considering for the chance to win. She’s got my vote!

For details on the contest and how to cast your ballot visit

The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support of sponsors Patagonia, Rayovac and the New Belgium Brewing Company

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.