Tom Cruise Secretly Trained Under NASA for Doomed US Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003
In a news report, it was revealed that Tom Cruise actually trained to become an astronaut and expressed his intent to join the US Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003. Fortunately for Cruise, his reel-to-real dream did not push through because the Columbia mission in 2003 ended up crashing, killing all the crew on board.
In 2002, Cruise narrated the movie Space Station 3D which paved the way for the actor to get access to NASA. The director of the movie recently revealed that Tom Cruise wanted to be a real-life astronaut citing his ability to fly jets and his own Gulf Stream IV plane.
In 2013, Cruise played a space military astronaut in the fiction movie, Oblivion. Tom Cruise was given hands-on training by astronauts from the International Space Station mission according to a report by Mirror.
It wasn't his first encounter with NASA. In early 2000, the actor approached the Former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and told him how NASA's website is a 'three clicks to oblivion' because it is a bit difficult to understand for non-scientists. The surprisingly space-geek and actor, offered NASA to help them redesign their website to which O'Keefe agreed.
"So I took him up on the offer and it changed the appearance of that website in a way that made it inviting, interesting, folks wanted to participate," said O'Keefe in an interview with SpaceNews in 2015.
According to reports, Cruise was already introduced to NASA in Florida and underwent initial training with an introduction course on how to replicate walking in a space suit inside a water tank.
"He had a very good chance of doing so but then the accident happened and that was the end of that", said Toni Myers, director of the movie 'Space Station' in an interview with Daily Mail.
NASA said the accident was caused by a malfunction of the system. "The physical cause of the loss of Columbia and its crew was a breach in the Thermal Protection System on the leading edge of the left wing" said NASA in the official report. The foam caused a breach leading heated air to penetrate the shuttle's system causing the crew members to lose control of the shuttle and also the disintegration of the spacecraft.
Because of this incident, the award-winning actor's dream was cut short and that was the end of his training with the US premiere space agency. But his contribution to NASA's entertaining website can is still evident until today.