As the world prepares for a new age of commercial space travel, fulfilling the dreams of all who’ve looked to the skies and wondered how they could be used for publicity stunts, NBC has announced that it will cover the maiden voyage of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo with a three-hour live broadcast, by way of leading into its upcoming reality competition series set aboard the spacecraft. No launch date is scheduled yet, but the network has already made plans for a primetime special to run the night before—in which we’ll see Sir Richard Branson and his two adult children, Holly and Sam, preparing to become the first private passengers to travel into space by keeping hydrated and staying really, really rich—as well as related content to air across all of its cable platforms, like Syfy, MSNBC, and The Weather Channel. (A Richard Branson lookalike will heroically vanquish a space-shark. Rachel Maddow simply spend an hour gazing heavenward in rapt, dreamy silence. Forecasts will predict torrential rains, caused by a new object forming in Jupiter’s orbit: what appears to be a floating baby with lush blonde hair, etc.)
All of this will lead up to the launch itself, which will be covered with a three-hour Today special, as Matt Lauer and Al Roker go from having their prostate exams on live TV to covering a voyage into another dark, mysterious void. And then, at long last, we’ll all be cleared to go to space, just as soon as the famous people get bored with it.