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Space & Astronomy

Tom Hanks turned down offer to fly to space before William Shatner

By T.K. Randall
November 4, 2021 · Comment icon 4 comments

Hanks flew into space (on-screen at least) in 'Apollo 13'. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Dick Thomas Johnson
The 65-year-old actor made the claim during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week.
Last month, Star Trek veteran William Shatner, 90, became the oldest person ever to fly to the edge of space after venturing high above the Earth aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft.

Now however, it turns out that he wasn't Jeff Bezos' first choice for the trip and that another actor - Tom Hanks - had actually been offered the seat beforehand but had turned it down.

Speaking during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday night, Hanks was quizzed over rumors that he had been offered the chance to fly into space.

He not only confirmed it, but also explained the reason why he had turned down the opportunity.
"Well, yeah, provided I pay," he said. "And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks or something like that. I'm doing good, Jimmy, I'm doing good. But I ain't paying 28 [million] bucks."

This revelation is interesting, because it has been reported that Shatner didn't actually have to pay anything whatsoever for his seat on the flight - instead being treated to it for free as a 'guest'.

It could be argued that this is perhaps because his participation generated so much publicity for Blue Origin that it was worth offering him free passage, however Tom hanks is also a household name, so it's unclear why he would have been expected to pay while Shatner wasn't.

The eye-watering price tag on the ticket for Hanks also emphasizes just how expensive these flights actually are - especially given that the trip itself lasts no longer than 11 minutes.

That's $2.5 million per minute!

It is perhaps no surprise, then, that even someone as wealthy as Tom Hanks might refuse to pay up.

Source: | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by susieice 3 years ago
I saw the show last night. I like Tom Hanks. He's really funny. His simulation of a space flight was hilarious.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hawken 3 years ago
William Shatner was more appropriate for the flight with his Star Trek series.
Comment icon #3 Posted by third_eye 3 years ago
Tom was still traumatized by his Apollo 13 gig...  ~
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
Tom has experience of being left alone on the island for years (Cast Away). He doesn't need to be left alone in space too.

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