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Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets forward Jim Slater knows exactly what he'll do with the money he gets from his next big hockey contract.

He won't buy a flashy new car or a big house. He'll go into space.

"That's what I would spend my money on," Slater said Tuesday. "I would spend $250,000 to go to outer space for 30 seconds than to have a brand new car."

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The topic came up because Slater visited a Winnipeg fire station this week as part of a promotion organized by the Jets. While he enjoyed the experience, Slater admitted he didn't want to be a fireman as a kid. His real dream while growing up in Lapeer, Mich., was to be an astronaut. And it still is. "I think it would be so cool to just go to outer space," he said.

Slater said his grandmother lives near Cape Canaveral, Fla., and he tried to attend the final launch of the space shuttle last July.

"We had it all booked and then [the launch]got cancelled," he said. "Then we scheduled flights again and it got cancelled again...

I was really disappointed. I really wanted to go down and watch it."

Slater, an unrestricted free agent this summer who is earning about $1-million this season, still has a chance at space travel.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is organizing commercial space travel. The near three hour flight promises five minutes of weightlessness and tickets cost $200,000. First flights are scheduled for 2013.

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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