It’s not as if the Netherlands needed any added incentives to win its first ever FIFA World Cup, but it has received one anyway in the form of a free space flight.
XCOR Aerospace, a private spaceflight company, have offered to take each member of the team into orbit should they reach and then win the World Cup final this Sunday. Each flight can only take one person at a time and is valued at $95,000.
The Space Expeditions branch of XCOR was once an independent Dutch firm called Space Expedition Corporation before being bought out by XCOR, the US company that developed the Lynx Mark II sub-orbital space vehicle.
The rocket-powered Lynx will be capable of taking passengers 100 kilometres up into the Earth’s thermosphere when it launches in 2016. In doing so, it will match the altitude achievable by Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which aims to provide six passengers with six minutes of low-gravity flight for $200,000 per person.
The Dutch team has lost in each of their three previous World Cup final appearances in 1974, 1978 and 2010, but will need to go one better this time if it’s to claim its unusual prize.