Mark Burnett and Sir Richard Branson want to send you into space.
No, not because you’re Miley Cyrus and they think you need a timeout. The pair are teaming up on an NBC reality show, “Space Race,” in which contestants will complete for a chance to orbit the earth on Branson’s Virgin Galactic, billed as the world’s first commercial spaceline.
The show, announced Thursday, is the product of an exclusive deal between Virgin Galactic and Mark Burnett’s One Three Media.
“Space Race” will also give earth-dwellers a look at Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America in New Mexico, the departure point and training center for space flights.
“The scope of this endeavor is so staggering, that it took these two titans to even imagine it,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming. “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.”
Added Branson: “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.”
“For the past ten years I have relentlessly pursued my dream of using a TV show to give an everyday person the chance to experience the black sky of space and look down upon mother Earth,” added executive producer Mark Burnett. “Last year I spent time in New Mexico at the state of the art facility and last week spent time in the Mojave desert with Sir Richard and his impressive team. We got to see the spaceship up close and hear of Sir Richard’s incredible vision of how Virgin Galactic is the future of private space travel. I am thrilled to be part of a series that will give the everyday person a chance to see space and that NBC has come on board too so that viewers at home will have a first class seat.”
(Full disclosure: The writer of this post once had a book published by Branson’s Virgin Books, USA, but we never met or hung out in space or anything.)