SpaceX crew talk to Tom Cruise from orbit before return to Earth

WASHINGTON • Four space tourists orbiting the Earth in a SpaceX capsule at 28,162kmh talked to movie star Tom Cruise on Friday and provided a live update about life aboard the spacecraft.

The first space tourism mission by Mr Elon Musk's SpaceX blasted off from Florida last Wednesday for a three-day voyage that was to end with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean at 4.06pm Pacific time yesterday (7.06am today, Singapore time).

Mission control said the crew members - Mr Jared Isaacman, Dr Sian Proctor, Ms Hayley Arceneaux and Mr Chris Sembroski - spoke to Cruise, who is hoping to make a film in space, from the vessel on Friday.

"Rook, Nova, Hanks, and Leo spoke to @TomCruise sharing their experience from space," said the Twitter account of Inspiration4, the official name of the first ever space mission to take place without an actual astronaut.

The names are the call signs of the four passengers aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule.

"Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime," the tweet added, accompanied by a video clip of Cruise playing the elite fighter pilot in the movie Top Gun whose call sign was Maverick.

Last year, former Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine announced a film project starring Cruise to be shot in zero gravity on board the International Space Station.

However, no details have yet been delivered about the project, which would be done in collaboration with SpaceX.

The four crew members shared their experiences in space during a 10-minute live webcast with mission control on Friday.

The crew members said they were collecting blood samples for research and doing cognitive tests which will be compared with their results prior to lift-off.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 19, 2021, with the headline 'SpaceX crew talk to Tom Cruise from orbit before return to Earth'. Subscribe