While he may have embarked on plenty of intergalactic journeys when he played Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Next Generation, William Shatner took up Jeff Bezos’ invitation to see the stars for his own eyes. Though, his trip to space aboard Bezos’ New Shepard spaceship was actually intended for another A-list celeb.
Tom Hanks was initially offered the seat, though he declined. During an interview on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, he expressed that, while he’s pretty well off, going into space just isn’t worth the $28 million ticket.
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Four lucky passengers got the chance of a lifetime when the second richest man on Earth invited them to take a trip beyond our atmosphere. Aboard the first of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceship flights were pioneer Mercury 13 member Wally Funk, eighteen-year-old Utrecht University student Oliver Daemen, and Bezos’ own brother, Mark.
Last month, Star Trek fans were elated to see their favorite captain reach the edge of the Earth. Shatner and four other passengers ascended above the planet at an altitude of almost sixty-six miles.
While this was certainly a moment to remember, Hanks wasn’t too privy towards dropping eight figures on the expedition. On Tuesday, when he sat down with Jimmy Kimmel, the talk show host asked Hanks to clear up the rumor that he had received an invitation prior to Shatner.
“Well, yeah, provided I pay. You know, it costs like 28 million bucks or something like that,” the Forrest Gump star said, “I’m doing good, Jimmy, I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying 28 million bucks.”
“I would do it on occasion just in order to experience the joy,” he added, “pretending I’m a billionaire.”
While he isn’t flying Blue Origin to the stars, the Oscar-winning actor could still have intentions of seeing space in the near future. According to USA Today, Hanks was named among a number of top-tier celebrities who purchased tickets for Richard Branson’s space voyages on Virgin Galactic back in 2014. Seeing as how Bezos’ prices were practical to the moon, it would make sense that the star would settle for the much more modest price of Virgin Galactic’s $250,000 tickets.
Meanwhile, it’s not all sunshine and roses in Bezos’ neck of the woods. He and his space company Blue Origin recently lost a lawsuit against NASA. The dispute was over a $2.9 billion lunar landing contract made out between the space agency and Blue Origin’s rival, Space X. Blue Origin contested the award, stating in court records that the contract should not have been given solely to Space X. Though the U.S. Court of Federal Claims felt otherwise, favoring the defendant.
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Sources: People Magazine, Space.com, USA Today
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