The commercial space race has truly begun with the latest reports indicating that Hollywood actor Tom Cruise is set to be heading to the International Space Station for his next film project.
The audacious trip into orbit for the 58-year-old actor comes as NASA announced that they would be returning astronauts to the moon by 2024. Prior to this there was confirmation from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine that he was working with Cruise and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ director Doug Liman on an unnamed film project that would see some scenes filmed inside the ISS.
The latest sources claim that Liman, Cruise and a potential female co-star will depart Earth using Elon Musk’s much publicised SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
For those wondering why NASA would even allow Cruise to enter the ISS, let alone any civilian other than scientific research personnel, the answer is simple.
Bridenstine wants the same results for NASA as what the US Navy received from ‘Top Gun’.
“There was a day when I was in elementary school and I saw ‘Top Gun’. From that day, I knew I was going to be a Navy pilot,” explained Bridenstine.
“If we can get Tom Cruise to inspire an elementary kid to join the Navy and be a pilot, why can’t we get Tom Cruise to inspire the next Elon Musk? That’s what we need.”
If it does become reality, Cruise’s voyage will be managed by Axiom Space, the same organisation that’s been selling tickets to the ISS and spruiking their own fiver star space hotel and orbiting laboratory.
The official flight dates are tentative for now but the initial schedule was set for 2021. With Cruise still filming his next instalment of ‘Mission Impossible’ alongside pandemic concerns, it’s likely that there will be a delay in sending civilians into space.
Meanwhile over at SpaceX headquarters, engineers have been rigorously testing their latest Starship tank by intentionally blowing it up.
The Starship SN7.1 is going through pressure safety tests in South Texas as it moves closer to the final Starship product – a 100-passenger spacecraft which Elon Musk hopes will ferry humans to Mars, the moon and other inhabitable destinations throughout space.