I'd contacted every Welsh university, some welsh businesses and some non UK press agencies. There was interest but no serious commitment. With the number of likes on the Facebook page climbing towards the 4000 mark I felt that I didn't have a choice but to take the next step. It was time to contact the UK press.
There is a long story about a failed viral campaign involving a picture of a laughing Warren Gatland in a Santa suit, sports reporters, copious amounts of alcohol and a lack of internet connection in Cardiff after Wales lost to Australia in rugby. I tried to think of a quick way to tell this story but it is just too ridiculous to sum up in a few lines. One good thing did come out of this disaster and that was that there was now some press interest in what I was trying to do.
I also contacted a journalist (many thanks to RT) who wrote and distributed the following press release which has resulted in one radio interview so far. There may be more coverage to follow.
Welshman hoping for space mission
A Swansea man is aiming to be the first Welsh-born person in space.Richard Cross, a 46-year-old computer programmer from Swansea, is hoping to raise the £65,000 he needs to launch him into the history books.
Hoping for the financial backing of a number of Welsh universities Richard is planning to take his trip into space sometime next year.
Even though the Welsh rocket man, or Taffanaut as he calls himself, has lofty ambitions he does admit a drawback in his ambition – he’s scared of heights!
“I must admit I am scared of heights and the thought of going into space actually terrifies me,” he said.“I don’t even like flying on a plane. It makes it all the more crazy I suppose that I’m prepared to do it.
“In a bid to overcome my fear I have done a parachute jump from 13,000ft but I’m not sure it’s cured the fear.”But there is a serious side to Richard’s mission which will see him take a ride on the XCOR Lynx space plane, via his hoped for ticket from SXC Space Agents.
“The motivation is to leave some kind of legacy and inspire youngsters. Space travel is becoming commercial and I want to show that it is accessible,” said Richard.“Bob Geldof is attempting to be the first Irishman in space but I want to show that I’m just an ordinary Welsh bloke. If I can do it anyone can.
“If I don’t make it, it will be a missed opportunity for the ordinary Welshman.“Some people might think I’m just a nutter but this is a serious plan and certainly no scam.”