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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Man wins ride in space as a prize
A data analyst manager has won a trip into space in a competition which involved choosing the best invention of all time.

Ian Anderson, 32, from Armitage, Staffordshire, will ride 62 miles above the Earth in a craft designed solely for out-of-this-world joy rides.

He chose "radio" as his answer. The US Xerus rocket plane has not flown but should be ready by 2009 for the trip.

Mr Anderson beat nearly 2,500 people to win the competition.

Biggest advances

The plane, which will be powered by a cluster of four rocket engines and looks like a miniature space shuttle, will carry one pilot and one passenger.

The craft, being developed by the Californian rocket company XCOR Aerospace, in conjunction with Space Adventures, is a sub-orbital vehicle.

The winner and runners-up were chosen from the entries presenting the most imaginative arguments in favour of different inventions.

Mr Anderson explained how radio had opened up new scientific horizons to transform the world.

Radio was a catalyst for some of the biggest technological advances of the 20th Century, including television, radar, mobile phones and hospital scanners.

The competition was run by New Scientist magazine and car manufacturer Audi.

Runner-up inventions included the steam engine, the camera, oral rehydration salts, internet search engines, the silicon chip, and the tin can.

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