Major Movie to Film on the ISS
Credit: NASA

Major Movie to Film on the ISS

15/05/2020Written by Malika Andress

Is Tom Cruise about to make filming in space Mission Possible?

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Earlier this month NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine took to Twitter to confirm that the space agency will be working with Tom Cruise to create the first narrative feature film shot in outer space; “We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”

Although there is very little confirmed information about the project, it will not be part of the Mission Impossible franchise, which is what was first mooted when the story broke, but it is believed it will include “Musk’s spaceship”, referring to Elon Musk, founder, CEO and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX.

Tom Cruise at the Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Japan Premiere CREDIT: Dick Thomas Johnson

NASA and SpaceX have not confirmed this detail, but Elon Musk has tweeted a response “Should be a lot of fun!”

We asked Anu Ojha, Director of the National Space Academy and member of ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee ( HESAC), for his thoughts on this news; “We anticipate there will be multiple opportunities of this kind, both with Boeing and SpaceX. This is a great opportunity for the spare seats on the ISS crew changeover flights, which SpaceX and Boeing are contracted to deliver, for commercial opportunities, that will help fund vital science being carried out on the International Space Station. All participants have to undertake a six month pre-flight training programme and be cleared to NASA standards.”

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest Hollywood stars, with over 30 year’s experience in blockbuster movies, making him a household name. After the massive success of Top Gun, Cruise went on to appear in many other major films. Some of these included The Color of Money, Days of Thunder, Interview with a Vampire, and the Mission: Impossible series.

Alongside that fame comes his reputation for never shying away from doing his own stunts, including high-octane car chases, sword-fighting and doing a dangerous deep-water dive. He even scaled the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, for the 2011 movie Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren filming A Beautiful Planet Credit: ©2016 IMAX Corporation, photo courtesy of NASA

As one of the most well-known people on the planet, the 56 year old star is an obvious choice for this project, not only for his box office credentials and viewing audience appeal, but for his flight credentials too. In 1986 Cruise got his commercial piloting license as part of his filming for the hit movie Top Gun making him more qualified than most megastars to be the first to film in space.

Tom Cruise has the credentials, ability and “gung ho” attitude to film in space, but what does this mean to the active crew on the International Space Station?

As we move towards an era of commercial spaceflight, with very few governments having budgets to support space exploration, looking to large movie houses to support future science through paying to use the most unique film set, is an obvious partnership that works for both parties.

Tom Cruise sits on top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (Picture: Twitter)

Space tourism and commercial science projects aboard the International Space Station continue to allow nations to have an active human spaceflight programme, alongside essential science to help mankind understand more about our place in the Solar System and help solve many of the issues we have here on the Earth’s surface.

What is the movie, when will it start shooting and who will star alongside Cruise? At this point in time we don’t have the answers, but watch this space…