Russia clears Lance Bass for blast-off. Now it's up to an international panel to approve the 'N Sync singer's space shuttle bid
Lance Bass
Credit: Lance Bass: Shark Pictures/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Lance Bass moved one step closer to becoming the first pop star in space with the Russian space agency’s official approval of his candidacy for the open seat on October’s shuttle flight to the International Space Station, NASA announced Tuesday. ”We did indeed receive a letter nominating Lance Bass for the October flight,” a NASA official told MTV.

The 23-year-old ‘N Sync singer still faces some obstacles on the way to the launch pad. First, he has to be approved by the international panel that oversees the space station. That decision should come this week. There are also contracts that still need to be formalized, involving the Hollywood production company that has offered to pay the $20 million cost of Bass’ ticket in order to film his journey as a reality-TV event.

Then, Bass will have to undergo three more months of rigorous training, including a Russian-language crash course (so he can talk to the two cosmonauts aboard the shuttle) and a survival course in a Russian forest (he’ll be left there without food or supplies). He’ll even be dropped into the Black Sea, to learn what to do if the shuttle splashes down in the ocean. And you thought surviving hoards of screaming prepubescent girls was tough.