British actor Brian Blessed is launching a bid to become the first celebrity in space.

The giant star of Star Wars: EPISODE ONE has already walked to the North Pole and is the oldest man to have climbed Mount Everest.

Now the deep-voiced 65-year-old has set his sights on outer space and beating star-gazing 'N SYNC singer Lance Bass to the launch pad.

Bearded Blessed - who has been training with NASA for a new TV show - says, "They let me wear a $30 million (GBP20 million) prototype Mars space suit.

"It was so exciting."

And on his passions to travel into the outer reaches of space, he adds, "Let me tell you right now, if we stay on this Earth we are going to die. We must get out there and explore."