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Tom Hanks turned down Jeff Bezos' space flight invite for a very relatable reason

The Oscar winner on Tuesday revealed that Jeff Bezos had offered him a ride to space on his Blue Origin rocket, provided he pay a hefty price.

Tom Hanks turned down Jeff Bezos' space flight invite for a very relatable reason
Cover Image Source: Tom Hanks attends the Los Angeles premiere of Apple Original Films' "Finch" at The Pacific Design Center on November 2, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Tom Hanks is doing just fine right here on Earth, thank you very much. The Oscar winner on Tuesday revealed that Jeff Bezos had offered him a ride to space on his Blue Origin rocket — at the staggering price of about $28 million. Speaking to host Jimmy Kimmel during his latest appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Hanks said he turned down the 57-year-old Amazon CEO's invitation to take a short trip to space for a very simple reason: He didn't want to pay so much for a short flight to outer space.


The topic came up when Kimmel asked the 65-year-old actor whether it was true that Bezos approached him about a spaceflight before the actor William Shatner. "Well yeah, provided I pay," Hanks said. "It costs like $28 million or something like that. And I'm doing good, Jimmy — I'm doing good — but I ain't paying $28 million. You know what, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now." The star then joked that they could "simulate" a space flight right there in the studio. "It's about a 12-minute flight? Is that it?... Okay, we could all do it in our seats right here," he said, before mockingly bouncing around in his seat as if in a spacecraft.


"You do that for four minutes, alright. You do that for four minutes and then you get up and you're floating. You take off your seatbelt [and say:] 'whoa, whoa, this is fabulous! Man, ohh, what?' then get back in and another four minutes of [grunting noises]," Hanks added. "I don't need to spend 28 million bucks to do that. I can do that at home." However, when Kimmel asked if the "Cast Away" star would travel to space for free, Hanks admitted he would consider boarding a spaceflight.


"I would do it on occasion just in order to experience the joy — pretending I'm a billionaire," he joked. Although Hanks declined Bezos' invite to be among the first to experience space tourism, a long list of celebrities are believed to have reserved tickets worth up to $250,000 on Richard Branson's commercial space liner Virgin Galactic. According to Insider, about 600 people from 58 countries have reserved tickets with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber believed to be among those who have purchased Virgin Galactic tickets.


Meanwhile, 90-year-old Shatner last month became the oldest person to fly to space. Speaking to reporters after soaring 62 miles above Earth in an 11-minute spaceflight, an emotional Shatner gushed with gratitude for Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000. "What you have given me is the most profound experience. I am so filled with emotion about what just happened. It's extraordinary," Shatner said, tearing up. "I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it. It's so much larger than me and life. It hasn't got anything to do with the little green men... It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death."


Shatner added that he was stunned by the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. "Look at the beauty of that color. And it's so thin. And you're through it in an instant," he said. "Suddenly, you're through the blue, and you're into black. You're looking into blackness, into black ugliness. And you look down — there's the blue down there and the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort, and there is — is there death? I don't know. Is that death? Is that the way death is? It was so moving, this experience."


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