Twenty-year-old Vu Thanh Long has been announced the Vietnamese winner of a contest recruiting people for a trip to space.

The HCM City resident will be given an opportunity to travel to space on a flight with the international space agency, offered by the Space Expedition Corporation (SXC).

Launched in Vietnam in April by AXE – a body spray and deodorant brand for young men – the contest attracted more than 20,000 Vietnamese entrants, including many living rurally and abroad.

The search for candidates appropriate for the trip has also been held in many other countries around the globe.

The future space travellers were selected using competitive space-simulation challenges.

Together with other winners, Vietnamese representative Long will experience the final stage of the AXE Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida, before starting his once-in-a-lifetime journey by 2020.

Long postponed his studies in Australia to return to Vietnam to compete in the contest, and may be on track to become the world's youngest astronaut. The current record belongs to former Soviet Union astronaut Gherman Titov, who was 26 years old when he flew into space in 1961.

Long might also become the second Vietnamese person to travel to space. The first Vietnamese cosmonaut, Pham Tuan, was also the first Asian to make it into space. Together with Soviet cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, Tuan flew as an Intercosmos research cosmonaut in 1980.-VNA