A few films have been shot on board the space station, including a 2002 IMAX documentary that Cruise narrated. 2012’s “Apogee of Fear,” a science fiction film, was also filmed in space by entrepreneur and space tourist Richard Garriott, the son of an astronaut.
But Cruise could be the first actor to endure extraterrestrial travel.
“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.
It’s not clear how or when Cruise will travel to the space station or what additional crew members may join him.
Russia is the only country with the ability to fly humans to and from the space station, but SpaceX and Boeing have been working for years to develop spacecraft capable of returning that capability to the United States. SpaceX’s vehicle, Crew Dragon, is expected to complete its first crewed mission to the ISS later this month.
Unlike the human spaceflight programs of earlier decades, however, NASA will not own and operate SpaceX’s or Boeing’s vehicles. Both companies will be permitted to sell seats aboard their spacecraft to tourists or others willing to pay the multimillion price tag.
SpaceX previously announced it would work with third-party companies to sell seats aboard Crew Dragon for about $50 million each.
That document also laid out how much certain services could cost: Use of life-support equipment — and the toilet — were listed at $11,250 per day. Food, air, and other provisions were priced at $22,500 per day.