"They would put a gun to my head and be like, 'Where's the money? Where's the money?'"
In a wild new interview with Ars Technica, Lance Bass, a former member of the world-famous boy band NSYNC, recalled how he was held at gunpoint by Russian officials after trying to come up with $20 million in financing to travel to space aboard a Soyuz spacecraft back in 2002.
At the time, the 23-year-old singer was meant to spend ten days on board the International Space Station alongside two cosmonauts. Bass spent four months training for the journey in Russia, including Russian lessons and plenty of complex astronaut procedures, and even went as far as to have surgery to fix an irregular heartbeat in preparation for the adventure.
It's Not Gonna Be Me
But coming up with $20 million ended up being a huge challenge.
"There were a lot of problems with Russia and Hollywood in trying to make this happen," Bass told Ars. "There were even a couple of weekends that I would get kicked off the base in Russia. They would put a gun to my head and be like, 'Where's the money? Where's the money?'"
Bass, of course, never ended up going to space, despite being obsessed with the idea since an early age.
But the bass singer hasn't given up on his dream and has joined the National Space Society's board of governors, according to Ars. Instead of going on a suborbital "fun rollercoaster ride" with the likes of Virgin Orbit or Blue Origin, Bass wants to actually spend time in orbit, conducting research.
Bass is also the host of a new eight-part podcast series called "The Last Soviet," detailing the journey of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who experienced the fall of the Soviet Union while on board the country's Mir space station.
We wish the singer the best of luck in his future space endeavors. Perhaps, one day, he'll finally make it into orbit.
READ MORE: Lance Bass was kicked off a Russian spaceflight two decades ago—now he’s back [Ars Technica]
More on Russia: Another Russian Spacecraft Docked to the ISS Just Sprang a Leak
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