SpaceX will launch Tom Cruise to film a movie at the International Space Station (ISS). Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced in May 2020 the agency will collaborate with the Hollywood action movie actor to film a movie at the orbiting laboratory. “NASA is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality,” Bridenstine said. –“Should be a lot of fun!” the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said in response when it was first announced. Cruise will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. The company has not specified when the mission will be launched, it could take place sometime in late-2024 when infrastructure for the film is delivered to the ISS.
The actor’s spaceflight is managed by Axiom, a company from Houston, Texas, that offers spaceflight management services for civilians to visit the ISS. The company is also a space infrastructure manufacturer, it has ambitious plans to build its own commercial space station destination in low Earth orbit to replace the ISS laboratory when NASA retires it in 2030. After its retirement, the agency plans to focus on building a permanent base on the Moon.
Space Entertainment Enterprise (S.E.E.), a United Kingdom movie production company founded by producers Elena and Dmitry Lesnevsky, announced it selected Axiom to build the world’s first film studio module that will dock to the ISS in 2024. It will be an ‘inflatable media venue module’ called SEE-1, that will be attached to the Space Station and be designed to support Tom Cruise’s space adventure movie. The name of the film has not yet been revealed but Cruise is famous for doing his own stunts so it is expected to be an action-packed movie. Axiom shared an image of how the SEE-1 segment will look like when attached to the ISS, it looks like a round ball with a diameter of around 6-meters (pictured below). After Cruise films the movie, the module will be available for other film producers to rent for their own projects.
“SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space,” stated Dmitry and Elena Lesnevsky, “It will provide a unique, and accessible home for boundless entertainment possibilities in a venue packed with innovative infrastructure which will unleash a new world of creativity. With worldwide leader Axiom Space building this cutting-edge, revolutionary facility, SEE-1 will provide not only the first, but also the supreme quality space structure enabling the expansion of the two trillion-dollar global entertainment industry into low Earth orbit,” they wrote in a press release. They did not mention what company would launch the SEE-1 module but it is safe to assume that it will be SpaceX.
When the ISS is retired, the SEE-1 module will be transferred to Axiom's yet-to-be-built station. “Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station, is designed as the foundational infrastructure enabling a diverse economy in orbit,” said Michael Suffredini, President/CEO of Axiom Space. “Adding a dedicated entertainment venue to Axiom Station’s commercial capabilities in the form of SEE-1 will expand the station’s utility as a platform for a global user base and highlight the range of opportunities the new space economy offers.”
“SEE-1 will showcase and leverage the space environment in an unprecedented way,” Axiom Chief Engineer Dr. Michael Baine stated. “The inflatable module design provides for around six meters diameter of unobstructed pressurized volume, which can be adapted to a range of activities – including an onboard state-of-the-art media production capability that will capture and convey the experience of weightlessness with breathtaking impact.”
“From Jules Verne to Star Trek, science fiction entertainment has inspired millions of people around the world to dream about what the future might bring. Creating a next generation entertainment venue in space opens countless doors to create incredible new content and make these dreams a reality,” stated S.E.E. Chief Operation Officer Richard Johnston.
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Featured Image Source: Tom Cruise Oblivion / Axiom
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.