More than 1200 Australians will be launched into space soon, albeit just as photos on the nose cone of a rocket.
A second National Broadband Network (NBN) satellite will be sent into orbit after the first was launched last October.
A corporate affairs manager with NBN, Jill Bottrall, said about 400,000 properties in rural and remote areas would rely on the satellites for high-speed internet.
“The only way that you could viably connect all these people that live in a remote part of Australia is with a satellite,” she told 891 ABC Adelaide.
“We’re putting up two because if anything goes wrong with the first satellite we have a back-up plan so those connections remain in place.”
Australians can upload a photo of themselves online and write briefly about why they would like their image on the launch rocket’s nose.
“You don’t need a story, you just need a reason why, a really good, creative little blurb about why you want your face posted on the nose cone to be blasted into space – the most creative stories will win the competition,” Ms Bottrall said.
She said she had personally lodged an entry because of her fascination with space.
“What I did was I nominated my nine-year-old self … because that was the age at which I first saw a satellite coursing through the night sky when I lived in Alice Springs,” she said.
“It absolutely fascinated me and I thought: ‘Well there’s a good reason to enter the competition’.”
The first satellite launch had a six-year-old girl’s drawing on the nose cone of the rocket after she won a nationwide contest to name the satellite, the NBN official explained.
“She named it Sky Muster and she obviously got inspiration from living on a cattle station [400 kilometres south of Alice Springs] and seeing all these guys mustering cattle,” Ms Bottrall said.
“We figured with the second satellite it would be good to give the opportunity to a whole lot more people.”
The Blast Your Face Into Space competition can be entered online until May 22, but there is no firm date yet for the second satellite to head skyward.
It is currently under construction in France and will be launched, like the first, from French Guiana.