Hollywood actor Tom Cruise does not shy away from adventure. In action films, he is known for doing his own stunts. He’s planning to shoot a movie in outer space now. Axiom’s space tour and astronaut training services were contracted by Cruise’s production agency to oversee the project to film the first out of this world movie. Axiom will partner with NASA and selected SpaceX to launch Cruise alongside three passengers to the International Space Station (ISS).
Axiom Chief Executive Officer Mike Suffredini said the company is going to close the deal for Cruise’s next adventure with all its partners. In the coming weeks, the contracts with NASA and SpaceX will be concluded. “This really is going to be the first commercial flight, so, NASA is working with us to work through all of the unique aspects of that,” Suffredini told reporters at SpaceflightNow, “It’s a short duration flight. So, it’ll be relatively easy to implement. I say easy, but nothing’s easy in spaceflight. But it’s as simple of a mission as we could be doing, which makes it good for all us,” he said. “We’ve sorted out almost all the big details. I have to have a contract with NASA, where they affirm our ability to go fly, what the date is, what the requirements they want to levy on us officially are. So, we’ve got to get the contract done.”
Axiom targets to launch Cruise to space sometime before the end of October 2021. “We’ve got to sign the contracts with our three customers, which we largely already have in place, and sign an update to the SpaceX contract,” Suffredini told reporters. “We want to do that all together. We’re aiming for the end of September, but I’m guessing if we get it done before the end of October closes out, that’ll be a success.”
“Our customers are private astronauts on these flights, but we don’t fly any private astronauts without a professional astronaut,” Suffredini said, “So, the flight will have four seats. We’ll have three customers and an Axiom professional astronaut.” Cruise will ride the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft alongside producer Doug Liman, who is going to film the first outer space movie. Former NASA Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will be one of the passengers. As Axiom’s commander for the movie development, he is going back to orbit to ensure that civilian passengers remain secure. The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX will launch the Dragon into orbit towards the Space Station, where they will spend eight days filming in microgravity and enjoy spectacular views of Earth.
Suffredini also shared with reporters that Axiom will train the civilian passengers for 15 weeks for the mission that will last 10 days. “Because we train at NASA facilities on the ground, there’s some liability there we have to sort through… Then we have liabilities once we enter the sphere around the ISS, and that’s being sorted out,” he stated. “The big thing … is that we hold the commercial entities responsible for their aspects of the flight. So, SpaceX provides the ascent and re-entry, and that’s their responsibility. And we’re responsible for the crew’s overall training, their medical well-being, everything they do on ISS,” he added.
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