Synopsis by Mark Deming
NASA has discovered that public interest in the space program has plummeted to an all-time low, and they decide it's imperative to get folks excited about space travel again if they want to continue receiving federal funding. With this in mind, NASA decides to try an experiment -- sending a ordinary blue-collar working stiff into space as part of their next mission. Somehow, Homer Simpson (voice of Dan Castellaneta) and his alcoholic friend Barney Gumble (also voiced by Castellaneta) end up on the short list of "regular guy" astronaut candidates. Barney quits drinking and quickly becomes the stronger candidate, until he goes on a bender with non-alcoholic champagne and Homer gets the spot by default. Launched into space with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Homer proves to be the greatest menace to face our space program since the explosion of the space shuttle, but he's given a chance to save the day after releasing ants and potato chips in the space capsule. "Deep Space Homer" was first aired on February 24, 1994; singer/songwriter James Taylor makes a guest appearance, serenading the astronauts from mission control.