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TKGS student Cherie Lim is the youngest candidate vying to be the first Singaporean to fly into space. She is among 26 other people.

According to The Straits Times, one of the 26 will be chosen by April next year to be launched into the atmosphere on National Day, Aug 9, 2015 -- Singapore's 50th birthday.

They were whittled down from a list of 126. The 26 comprises of 22 men and 4 women.

Other candidates include a former soldier who has climbed Mount Everest and Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilots, two Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduates and a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States.

The project by Science Centre Board, the Singapore Space and Technology Association, and IN.Genius (a local firm focusing on high-tech energy solutions) is privately funded and has not received backing from the Government, though organisers hope to secure this. The vessel will be a helium stratospheric balloon.

Cherie's parents are supportive of her. A space and rocket enthusiast, the 15-year-old student strives to be fearless despite her youth.

The 26 will be put through advanced confidence courses, deep diving, para-jumping and a helium balloon pilot course over the next year - with weaker candidates weeded out along the way.

IN.Genius director Lim Seng, one of seven in the selection panel, wants to look for someone not only with physical strength but also the heart to do Singapore proud.

He wants the choice to be a role model who can represent Singapore well.