WASHINGTON, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – Fans of reality television are accustomed to shows set on remote tropical islands, but a new series is going out of this world with “Space Race,” in which participants compete for a trip to space, US television network NBC announced this week.
The network said “Space Race” is being developed through a deal with reality show producer Mark Burnett and British tycoon and private space flight entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
“The scope of this endeavor is so staggering, that it took these two titans to even imagine it,” said Paul Telegdy of NBC Entertainment, in a press release.
“The term 'trip of a lifetime' has for once been delivered on! This will be a remarkable experience for anyone who has looked at the night's sky and dared to dream of space flight,” he added.
The winner will get a trip into space on board Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, a space vehicle the company describes as a “glider with a rocket motor attached.”
It is 60 feet (18 meters) long with a 90-inch (229 cm) cabin, enough room, the company says, for two pilots and six passengers. And yes, they each get a guaranteed window seat. Two windows, in fact, with one to the side and one overhead.
“Virgin Galactic’s mission is to democratize space, eventually making commercial space travel affordable and accessible to all. ‘Space Race’ allows us to extend this opportunity of a lifetime to as many people as possible right at the start of our commercial service – through direct experience and television viewing,” Branson said in the release.
“Space Race” is producer Mark Burnett’s third attempt at getting a space flight-themed reality show on air, beginning with “Destination: Mir” in 2000, in which finalists were to go through training at Russia’s Star City facility.
The show never got off the ground, and a similar show, “Destination: Space,” also planned in collaboration with the Russian space program, failed to launch as well.
Training for “Space Race,” and the eventual trip to space, will take place at Virgin Galactic’s state-of-the-art Spaceport America in New Mexico. NBC has not yet said when the show will air.