Trevor Beattie: This is not a power trip.It's my life's ambition

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The Independent Online

As a kid I wasn't in to sci-fi, I was in to sci-fact. The Apollo programme fascinated me, and one of my earliest memories was of the notion that man could go to the Moon. Then David Bowie came along with "Starman" and that really touched me musically. It's amazing how much the timescales have changed; we used to believe that by the 1980s we'd all be living on Mars. It seems that recently scientists have been more interested in exploring cyberspace, turning progress inwards rather than outwards.

This isn't a power trip about being one of the first civilians up there, it is honestly my life's ambition. Unlike other people, I have had to wait for it to come to me. If I had wanted to climb Everest I could have bought the kit, trained and achieved it by now. It is amazing being part of this club. So far only engineers, scientists and jet pilots have been sent into space and they come back changed somehow – poetic or religious. We're a bunch of self-selecting herberts so maybe we'll come back as engineers.

The flight itself will last approximately two hours, and I'm thrilled about every stage. Just boarding the Virgin Atlantic plane at Heathrow which will take me to LA to transfer to Virgin Galactic will feel like the first leg of the journey into space. Looking out the window at the world will be mind-blowing – luckily there will be cameras on the inside and outside of the rocket so the six of us up there won't be acting like space tourists snapping away.

Once I've landed, I'll have achieved my life's ambition and that's a scary thought, but I'll probably just get to the back of the queue and wait for my turn again – if only for the frequent-flier miles.

Trevor Beattie is a partner of the advertising firm Beattie McGuinness Bungay