The United States space agency NASA and actor Tom Cruise are working together to create a movie on the International Space Station, the head of NASA had confirmed.
The news that Cruise will be launched into space and stay aboard the station, was also confirmed by a NASA spokesperson to the media. The International Space Station is a laboratory that orbits the Earth about 250 miles above it and is worth billions of dollars.
Since 2000, crews of astronauts have lived aboard the ISS continuously in rotation and the space agency has also allowed a few high-paying tourists to make a stop-over at the space station.
A visit in the early 2000s was planned at one point for pop star Lance Bass, of ‘NSYNC boyband fame. That trip however was later cancelled.
The space station has also been a shooting spot for a few films which includes a 2002 IMAX documentary that Cruise narrated.
Entrepreneur and space tourist Richard Garriott, the son of an astronaut, also shot a film aboard the space station in 2012′ called “Apogee of Fear” – a science fiction film.
But the first actor to endure extraterrestrial travel is likely to be Cruise.
“We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet Tuesday.
The film will mark “the first narrative feature film — an action adventure — to be shot in outer space”, claimed a report published by Deadline.
How or when Cruise will travel to the space station or what additional people will accompany Cruise was not immediately clear.
The ability to fly humans to and from the space station is currently available only with Russia. However work on the development of spacecraft capable of returning that capability to the United States is being carried on for years by SpaceX and Boeing. It is expected that its first crewed mission to the ISS will be done by SpaceX’s vehicle, Crew Dragon, later this month.
But NASA will not own and operate SpaceX’s or Boeing’s vehicles, unlike the human spaceflight programs of earlier decades. Tourists or others willing to pay millions for a seat on those space crafts will also be allowed for both companies.
SpaceX previously announced it would work with third-party companies to sell seats aboard Crew Dragon for about $50 million each.
Its plans to allow non-government space travelers to pay the space agency for use of the International Space Station’s facilities were laid out last year by NASA through issuing of a directive.
Dozens of countries had contributed in the building of the International Space Station. However, the primary operators of the space station are the United States and Russia.
According to a 2018 government report, US taxpayers have to shell out about $3 billion to $4 billion a year for maintaining the US portion of the orbiting laboratory where scientific and commercial research are conducted by astronauts.
(Adapted from CNN.com)