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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: Space Show Will Be a 'Survivor'

U.S. producer Mark Burnett, whose popular reality show "Survivor" is in its fifth season on CBS, will work with Channel One television to produce a reality show whose winner will fly to space in 2003, U.S. web site Space.com reported.

Russian Aviation and Space Agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov confirmed Thursday that a U.S. producer will "cooperate" with Channel One in creating and running the show.

He said the show will be similar to "The Last Hero," a Russian reality show modeled after "Survivor" under license, but that it was too early to identify the producer.

Channel One spokesman Igor Burenkov declined to comment on Burnett's possible involvement.

He noted that a team of officials from Rosaviakosmos and Channel One visited the United States this week but said the trip was not related to the new show.

Burnett, who once tried to organize the "Destination -- Mir" reality show with a grand prize of a trip to the now-defunct Mir space station, paid a visit to NASA headquarters in Washington last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA official whose bid to visit the international space station this month was derailed when Lance Bass of boy band N'Sync vied for the spot, Space.com said. The purpose of the visit was unclear.

Burnett could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Rosaviakosmos general director Yury Koptev initialed a deal Tuesday for the show with Channel One chief Konstantin Ernst and the heads of Energia, the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and the Medical-Biological Research Institute.

Under the agreement, Channel One will make a down payment for a place on the three-seat Soyuz spacecraft that takes fresh crew members to the international space station. The other signatories will provide assistance in reserving the seat.

A final contract worth more than $20 million will be signed in December, Gorbunov said.

Channel One said in a statement that the show, which has not yet been named, will last several years. It did not specify who would finance the flight.

Gorbunov said Channel One will foot the bill.

He said the show will be open to thousands of potential contestants from across the country and the main selection criteria to become a contestant will be health and age. Candidates will be screened by doctors to determine their level of physical fitness, and those who pass will take part in athletic and other competitions.

The small group of people that wins these contests will be the participants in a reality show similar to "Survivor," Gorbunov said.

The winner and first runner-up will train to be cosmonauts at the Gagarin center in Star City outside Moscow. The runner-up will serve as a backup in case the winner for some reason cannot make the flight.

The liftoff to the international space station will take place October 2003, Gorbunov said.