• A new reality show will send one average person into space after being tested in various trials against other contestants.
  • The show, called Space Hero, is being planned for a debut in 2023.
  • The winner will spend 10 days on the International Space Station while their entire adventure is recorded.

When NASA revealed it was going to start relying more on commercialization to help fund its adventures in space, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Sponsored missions? Naming rights to rockets? It was all on the table, really, but I don’t think anyone would have predicted a reality show set in space.

Well, it looks like that’s exactly what we’re going to get, as a US-based production company called Space Hero Inc. is in talks with NASA to hold a reality show based around a contest that will eventually result in one average Joe or Jane heading to the International Space Station for over a week, while cameras capture their every move.

As Deadline reports, the show is supposed to debut in 2023, but there’s lots of work to be done before such a program reaches the airwaves. The show itself, Space Hero, will be unscripted and will be something akin to American Idol, but the prize will be a trip to space rather than a record contract.

Once contestants are selected they’ll be put through a series of tests and trials to see who would be the best fit for a trip to space. You can’t just grab any random person off the street and send them on a space mission without knowing what their bodies and minds are capable of. After completing the trials, which will make up a good portion of the show, the final remaining contestant will have won the right to fly to space aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon ship and spend 10 days aboard the International Space Station.

While the show will be new, it has actually been in the works for over a decade on something of a start/stop basis. The idea arose way back during the Space Shuttle program but had to be axed once NASA began relying on Russian rockets for trips to the ISS. Now that SpaceX and (presumably) Boeing will be sending astronauts to the orbiting laboratory from US soil, the show idea has gotten a new lease on life.

Privatized spaceflight is expected to be big business in the not-so-distant future, but such trips are obviously going to cost a huge amount of money. Space Hero, on the other hand, will provide the chance for a more average person to experience the thrill of traveling to space, and with NASA helping out it’s sure to be a big deal not just in the US, but abroad.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.