The early 2000s were ridiculous, and our memories often betray us when it comes to remembering just how insane the beginning of the new millennium really was. It was a time when platform shoes and metallic pleather made sense, when butterfly clips and frosted tips were actually considered cute, and when everyone believed that Lance Bass really could join the Russian Space Program and become a cosmonaut.
We can't lie. We're proud of Lance Bass and his ridiculous foray into space travel. Sometimes it takes people their entire lives to discover their true destiny. The former *NSYNC boy-bander was incredibly lucky when he discovered his passion for space travel at the ripe young age of 23. Now, you're probably thinking, "Wait a minute. Wasn't *NSYNC already a totally massive success by then?" Yes, it was, but our boy wasn't meant to be a singer - he was meant to spearhead a space advocacy program and become a fully certified space traveler.
So, what ended up actually happening? Did Lance Bass ever go to space? In recent years, the boy-bander has become a successful writer and movie producer, but will his dreams of becoming an astronaut ever come true? If there's one thing that's for certain, this *NSYNC dreamboat, LGBTQ advocate, and aspiring cosmonaut isn't going to let anyone keep him tied to the ground.
It turns out that a ticket into space costs about $20 million – and there's no Priceline to sort out the best deal. In the end, Lance Bass didn't end up taking his space mission because he couldn't come up with the money. Even though his trip was boosted by corporate sponsorships and a supposed seven-part documentary about the life of a planet-surfing pop star, Russia ended up kicking Bass off the expedition when his corporate sponsors were slow to pay up.
Just seven weeks before his flight was scheduled to take off, the poor boy-bander was kicked off the flight. However, with such short notice, Russian space officials weren't able to fill his position on the crew, so they ended up replacing the singer with a cargo container that weighed exactly the same as he did to ensure that the variables in the mission wouldn't be thrown off.
Bass first fell in love with space at just eight years old when his grandfather took him to see his first rocket launch. From that point on, Bass went to space camp and wanted to go to school for space engineering to become an astronaut.
Unfortunately, life is what happens when you're busy making plans. So, he became a famous pop star instead.
Bass came out in 2006, but back in 2002 when he spent three months at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, he was terrified that someone would find out he was gay. In Russia, members of the LGBTQ community have historically been met with violence and numerous anti-LGBTQ laws have been passed.
"I was so scared the whole entire time that they would figure out that I was gay. I was always worried that they were going to figure it out at any moment, and kill me. Just come in the middle of the night and kill me.
"It's really sad, I grew to love Russia. I lived in old communist Russia — I wasn't in Moscow — I was in the 1960s real Russia. So I really got to know them and appreciate their culture, and even then I knew how much they hated gays. That was one of the first things I realized, was how much they made fun of it. It scared me how much they talked about it, and how offended they were by gays."