Top Gun star Tom Cruise gets to play ‘wingman’ for SpaceX’s first private crew
Tom Cruise got a sneak preview of what it is like to circle the Earth in a SpaceX capsule.
Representatives for SpaceX’s first privately chartered flight revealed that the actor took part in a call with the four space tourists orbiting more than 360 miles up.
Thursday’s conversation, like the entire three-day flight, was private and so no details were released.
“Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime,” came the announcement from the flight’s Twitter feed.
Cruise starred as Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the 1986 film Top Gun. A sequel comes out next year.
Last year, Nasa confirmed it was in talks with Cruise about visiting the International Space Station for filming. SpaceX would provide the lift, as it does for Nasa astronauts, and like it did on Wednesday night for the billionaire up there now with his two contest winners and a hospital worker.
They are flying exceedingly high in the automated capsule, even by Nasa standards.
SpaceX got them into a 363-mile orbit following Wednesday night’s launch from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre. That is 100 miles higher than the International Space Station. It is so high that they are completing 15 orbits of Earth daily, compared with 16 for station astronauts.
Until this all-amateur crew, relatively few Nasa astronauts had soared that high. The most recent were the shuttle astronauts who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope over multiple flights in the 1990s and 2000s.
To enhance the views, SpaceX outfitted the Dragon capsule with a custom, bubble-shaped dome. Photos of them looking out this large window were posted online, otherwise little else had been publicly released of their first day in space.
Their flight ends with a splashdown off the Florida coast this weekend.
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