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Innovation

Space Hero: Inside the TV show that wants to take you to space (literally)

A new TV show aims to democratize space travel and make it accessible to more people than ever.

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Want to go to space? A new TV show is promising a 10-day trip as its grand prize — but you’ll have to face off against a few thousand other contestants.

Space Hero, first announced in September 2020, aims to choose one lucky winner and send them to the International Space Station in 2023. The event will employ aerospace company Axiom Space to send the winner on one of its future crewed missions, which could use a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

The announcement has got space fans excited, a sign of the new space race enabling more people than ever to experience the “overview effect” for themselves — but Thomas Reemer, co-CEO of the same-named firm behind the show, tells Inverse that there’s one huge misconception surrounding the show so far.

Want to know more about how to apply for the show, when it will be held, and Space Hero’s plans for the next 30 years? Read the full interview, only in MUSK READS+.

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“I think the focus on it being a reality TV show is actually awful,” Reemer says.

Reemer argues that the show is best thought of as something similar to the Eurovision Song Contest. The trans-national music event has been held since 1956, and with 41 countries competing this year and nearly 200 million viewers, it’s the world’s largest live music event.

“It is like a biannual peaceful global competition,” he says.

But even that doesn’t quite capture the overall goals of the show. Where the song contest is confined to one continent (mostly), Space Hero is aiming for the world.

Oh, and don’t confuse Space Hero with Who Wants to be an Astronaut? The show, announced in May 2021, will also use Axiom Space to send one lucky winner into space.

The main differences are that Who Wants to be an Astronaut? will be shown on Discovery where Space Hero hasn’t announced a distributor (it won’t be Discovery), and Space Hero is open to participants all over the world rather than just the United States.

“It’s more of a kind of training docu-series,” Space Hero co-founder Deborah Sass says. “We’re actually a movement with a community.”

It’s a community that could send you into space — and Sass and Reemer have a fleshed-out plan to help them choose the winner.

It won’t stop there, either. With plans for 15 seasons over the next 30 years, the pair have surprisingly clear ideas about when the show could reach new milestones as the space race continues.

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