Key Words: Tom Hanks to Jeff Bezos: ‘I ain’t paying 28 million bucks’ to fly Blue Origin
Houston, we have a problem — there’s waaaay too many zeroes tacked onto this 12-minute trip to the edge of space.
Or so Tom Hanks revealed in an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” this week.
The star of 1995’s space docudrama “Apollo 13” confirmed that Amazon
and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos approached him to join last month’s New Shepard launch before “Star Trek” icon William Shatner was booked.
“Is it true that you were asked to go to space by Jeff Bezos before William Shatner?” Kimmel asked.
“Well, yeah, provided I pay,” Hanks said. “And, you know, it costs like 28 million bucks or something like that. I’m doing good, Jimmy. I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying [28 million] bucks.”
Blue Origin was not immediately available for comment on Hanks’s price gripes, or whether Shatner was also asked to pay a premium for his life-altering experience in space.
But an anonymous bidder did shell out $28 million to land a seat aboard the New Shepard’s first crewed launch with Bezos over the summer, although they were unable to attend the history-making flight due to a scheduling conflict.
Hanks, 65, who stars in the upcoming post-apocalyptic Apple
TV+ film “Finch,” then joked that the audience could simulate the experience of a Blue Origin trip in their chairs for free. “It’s about a 12-minute flight. Is that about it? We could all do it in our seats right here,” he said, before leaning back and shaking violently in his seat as if he were onboard a rocket during liftoff. You can hear the audience laughing in the clip below.
“I don’t need to spend 28 million bucks to do that. I can do that at home,” he said — although he conceded he might go to space “on occasion” in the future to experience “the joy of pretending I’m a billionaire.”
The last time that Forbes featured Hanks on its Celebrity 100 rich list in 2012, it put the actor’s net worth at $26 million — certainly wealthy, but not in the league of Bezos’s $196.5 billion fortune.
Blue Origin is offering spots for future short-term space flights, but it hasn’t shared publicly what a ticket aboard the Blue Shepard costs. It’s likely that space tourists will have to pay pretty astronomical prices, however. Rival Virgin Galactic
is charging $450,000 for a spot aboard its SpaceShipTwo. And three SpaceX passengers flying to the International Space Station are paying $55 million apiece for their seats.
One report estimates that the global suborbital transportation and space tourism market will reach $2.58 billion in 2031.