By James Hibberd
April 04, 2013 at 08:26 PM EDT

Science Channel announced Thursday a new series chronicling the modern-day space race among private entrepreneurs.

Partnering with actor-producer Morgan Freeman, the network has greenlit New Race for Space. The three-part series will look at entrepreneurs seeking to embark on various ventures beyond Earth, from backyard dreamers to well-funded moguls like SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and sci-fi filmmaker James Cameron.

“It’s been almost 45 years since we landed on the moon, since we were really excited about going out into space, and I’ve always thought it was a mistake not to continue that exploration,” executive producer Freeman told EW. “I’m personally excited that we now have entrepreneurs who are interested in doing this.”

New Race For Space, from Revelations Entertainment, follows up on the previous Science Channel series Though the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.

“We sat down awhile ago and had a discussion about how to make the universe entertaining and bring a wider audience into Science and they did that with Through the Wormhole — and Morgan knocked it out of the park,” said Debbie Adler Myers, general manager and executive vp of Science Channel. “We are witnessing the dawn of the next generation in the space race – one that resembles the Wild West more than the Right Stuff.”

And if given the opportunity from one of these private companies, would Freeman ride the rocket?

“Me, go out into deep space? Yeah. Given the opportunity I would,” Freeman said. “One of the major moments during the moon landing was being able to see the Earth rise. Imagine being able to see that for real? I’m looking down on Central Park right now in New York. It’s like a moving painting. Imagine seeing the planet itself — ‘Wow, that’s where we live, that’s all there is.'”

New Race for Space will debut on Science next year.