Space tourism always seems to be 'only a few years away', always sneaking off to the horizon again each time it seems to be almost within reach. But now one version of science fiction might be coming to life with the news a reality TV show plans to send its winner to the International Space Station.
Space Hero Inc, a production company, has announced it has secured a seat on a 2023 mission to the ISS, and the person who sits in that chair will be the winner of its Space Hero show. The producers say the search for contestants will be global – you just have to have a passion for space exploration.
Naturally, if you want this you're going to have to earn it (and you should probably start training now). The show will be all about the training to become space ready, and the concept suggests we'll eventually all get to watch a live broadcast as the winner blasts off to space for a ten day visit to the space station.
Interestingly, one of the company's behind the concept, Axiom Space, is working on a new commercial module to be attached to the ISS where these private astronauts will stay. It's also the company working with the effort to produce that Tom Cruise movie that's planning to be shot in space too.
Heaps more details about the plans are over at the Deadline article, with comments from some of those involved and the pedigree of some of the team involved (ex-NASA folks) that shows this is not just some announcement with no meat behind the fluffy concept.
And for those wondering, yes, of course Elon Musk is involved. The plan suggests it'll be a SpaceX Dragon that will send the winner to the ISS at the end of it all.
I will watch the hell out of this show. Reality shows about singing and dancing are fun, but the stakes on this show are like nothing before. There's a million ways to win a million dollars. But a trip to the ISS? The stakes are sooo high here. I guess literally. What a fascinating show this will be.