If you thought that space exploration and zero-gravity experience is only for astronauts and celebrities, then think again.

Space Needle, a major landmark in Seattle, has introduced a revolutionary competition that will enable a lucky winner to reserve a free seat aboard the G-Force One.

The Space Race 2012 Program has been introduced by Space Needle in collaboration with Space Adventures to mark the former's 50th Anniversary and also to celebrate the gradual privatization of space travel.

Following the selection process, the winner will be trained properly and prepared for their spaceflight. This may also involve a Zero-G flight and centrifuge run.

Only legal US residents above the age of 18 are allowed to take part in the competition which will start from Aug. 1, 2011 and will go on till Dec. 29, 2011.

The selection process will involve a random identification of one thousand contestants who will further take part in a skill-based competition. The winners of this competition will then have to do a one-minute video that will be further screened based on public vote. These finalists will then compete in 2012 a series of challenges to determine the ultimate winner of the trip to space.

This online competition was announced as Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is preparing to send a host of celebrities, entrepreneurs and researchers in a three-and-a-half-hour SpaceShipTwo ride worth $200,000 a ticket. Included in the list of high-fliers are Stephen Hawking, Victoria Principal and Russell Brand.