Lance Bass is hosting a new podcast called The Last Soviet, the real-life story of a Russian cosmonaut left stranded in space for 313 days after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Lance is the perfect host because he trained to be a cosmonaut himself. If that’s news to you, you’re not alone.
In 2002, Lance went to Russia and became a fully certified cosmonaut, but his mission was ultimately scrapped. It was a huge story at the time, but today, he says not a lot of people remember that.
“People mainly thought it was a publicity stunt,” he tells ABC Audio. “Even today, people think, ‘Oh, yeah, that was a publicity stunt, right? That never really happened.'”
He laughs, “And then, of course…Gen Z, they’re very surprised…they’re like, ‘Wait a minute, the guy that we know as Guncle Lance on TikTok is also a cosmonaut?'”
Back then, Lance’s involvement in the space program was supposed to inspire young people: As he notes, “In the year 2000, no one cared about space. No one cared about math and science.” He wants to do the same with The Last Soviet.
“We just want to inspire that younger generation to really look into math and science and exploration, because space really is the only goal for the whole planet to work on together,” he explains.
But the young people Lance really wants to inspire are his 16-month-old twins, Alexander and Violet.
“If I had my wish, it would be for them to go into math and science more than entertainment. So of course, they were astronauts for Halloween last year,” he laughs.
Noting that his son enjoys toys with all kinds of buttons and lights, Lance adds, “I hope he’s bitten by the space bug like me!”
[The Last Soviet is from iHeartPodcasts and Kaleidoscope, and can be found on iHeartRadio and anywhere podcasts are heard.]
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