Reality TV just reached the next level — and that level is approximately 200 miles above the Earth — with the announcement of a new show where the prize is a trip to the International Space Station.
What a time to be alive, right?
The entire series will be an international search for the first elected space explorer to fly to the International Space Station. The winner will receive astronaut training before launching to the ISS and spending 10 days in orbit.
There are still a lot of unknown details that need to be worked out before anyone gets too excited.
How the chosen citizen astronaut will get to the space station is yet to be determined, according to Axiom, the private space company partnering with Space Hero to train the astronauts and get them into orbit.
The show also doesn’t have a home yet, Space Hero is seeking a network or distribution partner to air the first space reality show.
“When Thomas and I started this venture we were very clear that there was nothing like it on the planet. Today we have started our mission to find our distribution partner and are ready to take it to the next stage and get the World excited about Space Hero," Sass said in a statement.
The application process for the show opens April 12, 2021, according to Space Hero, which also happens to be the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
To apply, interested space travelers can download the free Space Hero app to start the process.
The show will begin broadcasting later in 2021 and a six-month training program for the winner will happen in 2022 with a launch to the ISS in early 2023.
This new reality show takes commercialization of the orbiting home for astronauts into a new arena. Last year, NASA announced it was opening up the space station for private companies to conduct marketing and citizen astronaut flights.
NASA approved Axiom Space, a Texas-based company, to begin building private modules onto the ISS in 2024 to eventually launch a private space station that would be fully functional by the time the ISS is scheduled to retire.
Axiom has also hired SpaceX to launch three private astronauts on the Crew Dragon to the ISS. This summer, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch NASA astronauts to the ISS and bring them home. Four astronauts, three NASA and one Japanese, will launch on the second crewed flight for the Dragon spacecraft in late October from Kennedy Space Center.
Axiom has not announced if SpaceX will launch the Space Hero contestant winner.