AN aspiring astronaut is preparing for blast off after winning a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel into space.

Oliver Knight is set to see his childhood dream of lifting off in a space shuttle come true after seeing off competition from almost 90,000 other hopefuls.

The 25-year-old from Malvern secured his voyage to the final frontier after impressing experts at an intensive ‘Space Camp’ in Florida.

Mr Knight, who works for E.ON in London but is formerly of Bronsil Drive, Malvern, was one of just four UK finalists selected for the event at the famous Kennedy Space Centre as part of the Lynx Space Academy competition.

Now, as the overall winner, he will be blasting off on a 90-minute trip into space where he will break the sound barrier while flying 103 kilometres at the highest speed possible.

As a pupil at The Chase School, in Malvern, Mr Knight was always interested in being an astronaut and he has already proven a head for heights through his love of skydiving.

To even reach the space camp Mr Knight had to succeed in a public vote and then impress in a series of physical and mental challenges to prove he was up to the demands.

Mr Knight said he had made it his mission to succeed in the competition.

“I realised it was an amazing opportunity in front of me,” he said.

His delighted mother Deborah was the first to hear the news when she was woken up by a transatlantic phone call from her excited son in the early hours of yesterday morning.

“I am obviously a bit nervous but I am absolutely over the moon for him,” she said.

“He has always quite liked space but I think more than anything it is the adventure of it all.

“He has always been the type of person who wants to do what other people might not.”

Mr Knight’s trip with the Lynx Academy is set to take place during 2015.

As well as breaking the sound barrier, Mr Knight will also experience weightlessness in zero gravity before descending back to Earth.