Tom Cruise is in the midst of filming Mission Impossible 7 and 8 back-to-back, but he may just have his most difficult mission yet when he is set to fly to the International Space Station as soon as October.
Startup Axiom Space has ambitiously chartered the first all-private orbital mission, dubbed Ax-1.
Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Algeria will be the flight commander, to be joined by businessman and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, along with Hollywood director Doug Liman and the aforementioned Cruise.
The crew will ride to the International Space Station, where they will spend about a week aboard the research vessel. Cruise and Liman are purportedly going to shoot a movie during their week in orbit before returning to earth.
In a partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Ax-1 will launch in a Crew Dragon spaceship attached to a Falcon 9 rocket.
Lopez-Algeria praised his crew, noting that in real life, Tom Cruise is similar to his super-spy alter ego Ethan Hunt in toughness and tenacity: “I’ve only ever met one of them in person, just due to the COVID circumstances…But I feel like I’ve gotten to know them pretty well and ironically, even though they’re private astronauts, these three particular individuals feel like people who might have been selected as astronauts before — meaning I feel like they all have the right stuff.”
However, just because Cruise is Hollywood royalty doesn’t mean Lopez-Algeria is going to go any easier on him.
Lopez-Algeria noted that the crew needed to be professional, prepared and punctual, and he would have to play “Good cop and bad cop with them,” Lopez-Algeria elaborated: “I think the biggest message is we’re a family as a crew. We really have to work together as a team, we’ve got to learn how to communicate, and we’ve got to stick up for each other. I think we’re on the road to success already.”
He said that Axiom would begin training around four months ahead of launch. He acknowledged that that timeframe would likely change due to the constant change in rocket-launch scheduling. However, he wants to maximize the time they have to train.
“It’s an interesting needle that I have to thread. On the one hand, I am a firm believer that human spaceflight is possible for a vast majority of the population. You don’t have to be Superman, you don’t have to be Einstein, you don’t have to be da Vinci. You just have to be open-minded and willing to learn,” López-Alegría said.
Let’s hope that Cruise can successfully complete this Mission: Impossible as he has in all the movies. And I, for one, will be the first person in line to see the movie he films on the International Space Station.
Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!
Source: Business Insider