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NBC reality show to launch real people into space

Oh, what's "The Amazing Race" when compared to the amazing "Space Race"? Reality TV producer Mark Burnett, in conjunction with Richard Branson, launches a show in which people compete to get on a Virgin Galactic flight.

Your prize, reality contestants.
Virgin Galactic/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Reality TV is struggling like a man trying to get out of a glass coffin full of scorpions on a Japanese game show.

How can the producers make it more interesting? We've surely seen everything.

Well, we've never seen the winners being shot into outer space, have we?

So it has come to pass that Mark Burnett, the very clever man behind such cultural artifacts as "The Apprentice" and "The Celebrity Apprentice," has persuaded NBC to buy as show called "Space Race."

This is not a competition between Americans and Russians, with Edward Snowden as its host.

Instead, as Deadline reported, it's normal, everyday people battling to get seats on a flight into space.

Naturally, this flight into space will the on Virgin Galactic, the chosen space carrier of celebrities worldwide. In this case, a flight on SpaceShipTwo will be the prize.

Burnett told Deadline he'd been trying for years to get a space show off the ground. His original concept had been called "Destination: Mir." Sadly, when Mir became a Mir afterthought, after being dismantled, he was left without a space station partner.

This time, at least, he has a brand new rocket ship to project winners into the shallow beyond.

Those who choose to compete for this fine prize will be trained at Spaceport America in New Mexico, which happens to be Virgin Galactic's home base.

It's not clear what contestants will have to do to earn the prize. For myself, I would be moved by zero-gravity wrestling bouts, as well as races to see who can build a toy rocket fastest from a modeling kit.

There must surely be a place for a quickfire round of space trivia (Sample question: What was the name of the first monkey in space?"), as well as a fashion design element to see who can design the sexiest space suit.

There is no point sending mere ordinary people into space. They must be extraordinary ordinary people.

You see, we can never discount the possibility of an alien encounter up there, so we must only send up our most fascinating specimens to impress any skinny green beings they might come across.

After all, we're already sending up Ashton Kutcher, aren't we?