Sunday, October 6, 2013


Hey, lookit this: NBC is going to air Space Race, a reality show in which contestants will compete to win a trip on Richard Branson's space plane. Cool, right? Maybe? You know, I'm not really sure how to feel about this. Yeah, winning a trip to space would be awesome, but everyone else on Virgin's Spaceship Two will be there because they handed over 200,000 space bucks for the privilege.
Pictured: An artist's rendition of what awaits space tourists.
"When I grow up, I want to be a skycap."
-Some kid, aiming high
Is that all space travel is going to be? Five minute micro-gravity joy rides for the ultra-rich? When a kid says they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, we all go awww and pretend like it's totally going to happen someday but, in reality, we all know full well that it's a pipe dream. Between the retirement of the shuttle program and increasing public apathy towards space exploration the closest that kid is going to come to boldly going is serving drinks to rich people in the space port VIP lounge or loosing their space luggage. It seems like kind of a bummer.

Above: Branson, seen here with a
naked woman he paid to cling
to him while he water skied.
Here's what the British billionaire had to say:

"Virgin Galactic's mission is to democratize space, eventually making space travel affordable and accessible to all...Space Race allows us to extend this opportunity of a life time to as many people as possible...through direct experience and television viewing"

-Sir Richard Branson, one of the people

I'm not sure this is 'democratizing space' so much as it is making contestants compete like gladiators for our amusement whilst promoting Virgin Galactic.

Look, I'm all for space exploration, and making it more accessible to everybody, but holy shit, isn't it like really hard to be an astronaut? Astronauts train for years and have to be at their best both physically and mentally, is a reality show really the best way to discover who has the right stuff? 
Flavor Flav tried unsuccessfully for three seasons to find true love
on reality TV and he's Flavor Flav. What hope is there for Space Race?

1 comment:

  1. Lana: "Archer. He just said highly trained and the last time I checked none of us were even lowly trained to be astronauts."
    Archer: "Well, how hard could it be?"
    Commander Kellog: "Incredibly."