Tom Cruise narrowly escaped death in a national tragedy that unfolded in 2003.
The Mirror reports that the actor was prepared to join the Columbia Space Shuttle mission, which killed all seven crew members when the shuttle re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
Cruise played an astronaut in the 2013 sci-fi movie, “Oblivion.” He had top secret space training in the run-up to the demanding mission.
— Nature World News (@NatureWorldNews) May 28, 2016
The Shuttle program was ceased after Columbia exploded, killing the entire crew.
Movie News Guide reports that a deal was worked out between NASA and Cruise; if he voiced the “Space Station 3D” documentary in 2002 and assisted in the organization’s website redesign, they’d let him go to space aboard a shuttle.
“Space Station 3D” director, Toni Myers, said that Cruise was eager to become a real-life astronaut. Part of the actor’s training involved pace walking in zero gravity simulation by wearing a space suit while floating inside a water tank.
“Tom wanted to be an astronaut, he flies his own GulfStream IV Jet and he’s qualified as a pilot,” Myers said. “He was very enthusiastic about doing ‘Space Station 3D,’ but the deal was he also wanted to fly in the Shuttle.”
Myers said there was a “very good chance of doing so but then the accident happened and that was the end of that.”
There’s also a report that Tom Cruise participated in a NASA induction course in Florida to gear up for the mission.
Cruise once told The Sun that he was willing to spend over $150,000 for a ticket on Richard Branson’s space venture – on Virgin Galactic.
Are you surprised to learn that Tom Cruise narrowly escaped death had he been one of the crew members on the Columbia?