Australian Astronaut Reality TV Show One Big ScamS

While the whole world is swept up in Virgin Galactic fever, an Aussie scam-artist who fooled the world with plans for an astronaut reality TV show (even hiring Professor Stephen Hawking as a judge, supposedly) has unsurprisingly vanished.

After supposedly buying two seats on the Russian Soyuz rockets, Jonathan Nolan from Australia (whose only TV experience seems to be a 9/11 conspiracy documentary) convinced investors to hand over millions of dollars for the Starwalker TV show, told everyone Hawking was a judge and even issued press releases about the show from a PR agency who never actually worked with him.

In fact, the Russian space agency has come out as saying they don't actually take passengers up into space, upsetting contestants who had already started working on their entries—spending hours training in preparation—and at least $10 each, thanks to the SMS entry bills.

This isn't the first time a space-themed reality TV show has encountered problems, with a program some years ago called Space Cadets ending up being one big hoax. [Sydney Morning Herald]