Tom Hanks, fiendishly lovable Hollywood actor and filmmaker, has said he turned down a ticket to go to space onboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.
During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Hanks was asked whether it was true he was offered a trip on Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle before William Shatner, who was blasted off in mid-October in their second-ever crewed trip to space.
“Well, yeah, provided I’d pay,” Hanks replied to Kimmel. “You know, it costs like 28 million bucks or something like that.”
“And I’m doing good, Jimmy, I’m doing good, but I ain’t paying 28 [million] bucks!”
Hanks went on to explain that he wasn’t interested in spending that much cash for a 12-minute flight that would predominantly consist of an uncomfortable launch and an equally unpleasant landing.
“You know what, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now,” Hanks said, before mimicking the rattling and shaking involved in a rocket launch in a dramatic Hanks-esque style.
“I don't need to spend 28 million bucks to do that," he added.
Blue Origin doesn't disclose any "ticket prices" for space tourism trips aboard their New Shepherd suborbital vehicle. However, it was revealed that an anonymous bidder paid $28 million for a seat onboard the first crewed spaceflight of New Shepherd, alongside Bezos, his brother, and Wally Funk, a pilot who was denied the chance to go into space in the 1960s because she was a woman. This bidder was later pulled out because they were reportedly too busy and was then replaced by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen.
Blue Origin launched its second crewed spaceflight on October 13, featuring the legendary Star Trek actor Wiliam Shatner. He was joined by Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of Planet Labs and a former NASA engineer, Glen de Vries of French software company Dassault Systèmes, and Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations and a former flight controller with NASA.
As per their website, they're planning on one more crewed flight this year and have several more lined up for 2022. Unfortunately, it looks unlikely that Hanks will be along for the ride.