'Big Bang' fan wins space flight at Comic-Con
Chrys Petrone holds a Yoda figure as he walks along the entrance to Comic-Con Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in San Diego. The annual comic book and popular arts convention attracts over 100,000 people and runs through July 15. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
SAN DIEGO - Thousands of Comic-Con attendees grab free swag at the pop-culture convention, but one lucky fan nabbed the ultimate prize Friday: a trip to space.
Adult fans who lined up to question the stars of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" were given silver envelopes with one containing a ticket for a space flight from XCOR Aerospace on the Lynx Experience, a two-seat launch vehicle that takes off and lands like a traditional aircraft.
The out-of-this-world trip was won by Mercedes Becerra of Paso Robles, Calif.
The flight was first offered on stage by former NASA astronaut Richard Searfoss to "Big Bang" co-star Simon Helberg, whose character, Howard, blasted off into space at the end of the fifth season. Helberg declined the offer.
"Altitudes give me a lot of gas," he joked.
For the first time, "The Big Bang Theory" panel took over the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H, the mammoth room that can accommodate 6,500 con-goers.
"Big Bang" star Jim Parsons joined the panel on a monitor via satellite, but Johnny Galecki was absent because of a flight delay.
AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang is tweeting from Comic-Con at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang