Tom Cruise gets sneak peek from SpaceX’s first private crew

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The actor took part in a call with four space tourists, who were orbiting over 360 miles

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Tom Cruise got a glimpse of what it’s like to orbit Earth in a SpaceX capsule.

Representatives for SpaceX’s first privately chartered flight revealed Friday that the actor took part in a call with four space tourists, who were orbiting more than 360 miles away. Thursday’s talks, like the full three-day flight, were private and so no details were released.

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“Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime,” announced 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 that it was in talks with Cruise about visiting the International Space Station for filming. SpaceX will provide lift, as it does for NASA astronauts, and as it did for the billionaire on Wednesday night, now with two of its competition winners and a hospital worker.

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Their flight is scheduled to end Saturday night with a shower in the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

The four showed off their capsule in a live broadcast on Friday. They are flying extremely high in an automated capsule, even by NASA standards.

SpaceX put them into a 363-mile (585-kilometer) orbit after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday night. It is 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station. It is so high that those stations are completing 15 orbits of Earth per day, compared to 16 for astronauts.

Until this all-amateur crew, relatively few NASA astronauts had climbed that height. The most recent were shuttle astronauts who served on several flights aboard the Hubble Space Telescope in the 1990s and 2000s.

To amplify the views, SpaceX outfitted the Dragon capsule with a custom, bubble-shaped dome. their pictures There were posts online looking at this large window, something else publicly released about his first day in space.

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In addition to speaking with Cruise, four capsule passengers interacted with young cancer patients on Thursday. Childhood cancer survivor Hayley Arsinaux leads a classroom conversation with patients at the hospital that saved her life nearly 20 years ago: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A 6 year old boy wanted to know if there were cows on the moon – as in the nursery rhyme.

“I hope there will be one day. Right now, no, there aren’t,” replied another passenger, Sean Proctor. “We’re going to be going back to the Moon soon and we’re going to investigate all kinds of things about it.”

The video linkup was not broadcast live but shared by St. Jude on Friday. It’s “so beautiful” to see Earth from such a height, Arsinux told them.

Now a physician assistant in St. Jude, Arceneaux is the youngest American in space at age 29.

Pennsylvania entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, 38, bought the entire flight for an undisclosed amount. He’s trying to raise $200 million for St. Jude through a flight he named Inspiration4, half of which comes from his own pocket.

Two other Dragon riders won their seats through a pair of competitions sponsored by Isaacman: Chris Sambrowski, 42, a data engineer, and Proctor, 51, a community college teacher.

During the Friday afternoon broadcast, Sambroski played a guitar that would be auctioned for St. Jude. “You can turn your volume down if you want, but I’ll give it a shot,” he said.

Proctor, an artist, showed a drawing in his sketchbook of a dragon capsule, which a mythical dragon was carrying away from Earth.

All four shared SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s quest to open up space for all.

“Mission like Inspiration 4 helps propel spacecraft to ultimately enable anyone to reach orbit and beyond,” Musk tweeted Thursday after a conversation with his orbiting pioneers.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.


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