Was Tom Cruise supposed to be on Kalpana Chawla’s doomed space shuttle?

  • ANI, London
  • Updated: May 26, 2016 18:47 IST
Tom Cruise visiting NASA to ride in the Bldg 5 Motion Base. (NASA.gov)

Tom Cruise was supposed to be on the NASA space shuttle that killed Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla and her crew, a report suggests.

The 53-year-old star, who wanted to be an astronaut on the 2003 Columbia space shuttle mission, was given secret training by NASA, the Daily Mail reported.

In return for being allowed to go into space, Cruise narrated a 3D IMAX film, Space Station, for NASA.

Toni Myers, director of Space Station 3D, said that the Mission Impossible star, who flies his own GulfStream IV Jet and is quite qualified as a pilot, wanted to be an astronaut.

Space shuttle Columbia, during lift off in 2003. (Reuters)

He added that Cruise, who was very enthusiastic about doing the movie but also wanted to fly in the Space Shuttle, was given an induction course by NASA in Florida and taught how to replicate walking in a space suit by wading in a water tank.

“Tom wanted to be an astronaut, he flies his own GulfStream IV Jet and he’s qualified as a pilot. He was very enthusiastic about doing Space Station 3D but the deal was he also wanted to fly in the Shuttle. He had a very good chance of doing so but then the accident happened and that was the end of that,” said Myers.

Read: Watch Tom Cruise shoot that insane Mission Impossible plane scene

All seven crew members died when the Columbia shuttle exploded in 2003.

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