Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize

Space Hero, Inc. offers a prize worth millions of dollars, and a bit of risk for the winner.

Space Hero Inc., a U.S.-based production company founded by Thomas Reemer and Deborah Sass and led by former News Corp Europe chief Marty Pompadur, has secured a seat on a 2023 mission to the International Space Station. It will go to a contestant chosen through an unscripted show titled Space Hero...

The selected group of contestants will undergo extensive training and face challenges testing their physical, mental and emotional strength, qualities that are essential for an astronaut in space. I hear the idea is for the culmination of the competition to be in a an episode broadcast live around the world where viewers from different countries can vote for the contestant they want to see going to space.

“The series will be taken out soon, with a global streaming platform and a broadcast partner in each country, including the U.S., explored as distribution options.” “Taken out” is Hollywood jargon for “go looking for somebody to pay us to do this.” And when it comes to space-based reality television, lots of proposals like this have been “taken out” before, giving the term a more ominous meaning. In fact, by one count, this is now the twelfth time that somebody has attempted to create a reality TV show with a spaceflight as the prize.

As Twitter user Kallistos points out, this idea can also be found in Arthur C. Clarke's 1952 novel Islands in the Sky:

t was Uncle Jim who'd said, "Whatever happens, Roy, don't worry about it. Just relax and enjoy yourself." I remembered those words as I followed the other competitors into the big studio, and I don't think I felt particularly nervous. After all, however badly I wanted the prize, it was only a game.

The audience was already in its place, talking and fidgeting and waiting for the program to begin. It gave a little cheer as we walked up on to the stage and took our seats. I had a quick look at the five other competitors, and was a bit disappointed. Each of them looked quite sure that he was going to win.

There was another cheer from the audience as Elmer Schmitz, the Quiz Master, came into the studio...

"Good evening, folks! This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program, brought to you by arrangement with World Airways, Incorporated. The six young men we have here tonight . . *

But I guess it wouldn't be very modest to repeat the things he said about us. It all added up to the fact that we knew a lot about everything that flew - in the air and outside it— and had beaten about five thousand other members of the Junior Rocket Club in a series of nationwide contests. Tonight would be the final elimination tests to select the winner....

"Congratulations, Roy!" said Elmer heartily, shak- ing my hand. "Almost a perfect score. You missed only one question. I have great pleasure in announcing you as the winner of this World Airways Contest. As you know, the prize is a trip, all expenses paid, to any place in the world. We're all interested to hear your choice. What is it going to be? You can go anywhere you like between the North and South Poles!"

Spoiler Alert! The story takes a bit of a turn here!

"Congratulations, Roy!" said Elmer heartily, shak- ing my hand. "Almost a perfect score. You missed only one question. I have great pleasure in announcing you as the winner of this World Airways Contest. As you know, the prize is a trip, all expenses paid, to any place in the world. We're all interested to hear your choice. What is it going to be? You can go anywhere you like between the North and South Poles!"

My voice sounded a long way off when I answered.

"I want to go to the Inner Station."

"Ha, ha, very amusing, Roy! But the prize is any- where on earth. You must stick to the rules, you know!"

I could tell he was laughing at me, and that made me mad. So I came back with: "I've read the rules very carefully. And they don't say 'on earth.' They say, 'To any part of the earth.' There's a big difference...."

"In 2054," I continued, "the United States, like all the other members of the Atlantic Federation, signed the Tycho Convention, which decided how far into space any planet's legal rights extended. Under that Convention, the Inner Station is part of earth, because it's inside the thousand kilometer limit."

And then the fun begins.

Retweets and pings by Twitter users (like @nyrath, in this case) are invaluable and always appreciated.

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