Categories: Commercial Space

Tom Cruise Movie’s Producers Aim to Add Film Studio to the Space Station in 2024

The production company that’s playing a key role in a space movie project involving Tom Cruise says it’s working with Axiom Space to add a sports and entertainment facility to the International Space Station by the end of 2024.

The inflatable module, known as SEE-1, would be built by Axiom for Space Entertainment Enterprise and attached to the commercial complex that Axiom is already planning to put on the space station, SEE said in a Jan. 20 news release.

The facility would provide a studio for film, TV and music production as well as a space for performances and sports events. “SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space,” said SEE’s co-founders, Dmitry and Elena Lesnevsky.

Dmitry Lesnevsky made his name in Russia as a film/TV producer, publisher and a co-founder of REN TV, but SEE is based in London. The Lesnevskys are listed among the producers of the unnamed Tom Cruise space film project, which has the support of SpaceX and NASA. (SpaceX founder Elon Musk is listed as a producer as well.)

Axiom Space, which struck a deal with SpaceX to send its first customers on a visit to space station later this year, is expected to facilitate the Tom Cruise project, but the timing for that project has not been announced. It’s not yet clear whether the Tom Cruise project would make use of SEE-1.

Axiom is already building its first commercial space module, known as Axiom Station, and will build SEE-1 as well.

SEE-1’s inflatable, spherical design features a 6-meter-wide (20-foot-wide) pressurized space that can be adapted to a range of activities, “including an onboard state-of-the-art media production capability that will capture and convey the experience of weightlessness with breathtaking impact,” Axiom chief engineer Michael Baine said.

Axiom’s president and CEO, Michael Suffredini, said SEE-1 fits into his company’s vision to provide “the foundational infrastructure enabling a diverse economy in orbit.”

“Adding a dedicated entertainment venue to Axiom Station’s commercial capabilities in the form of SEE-1 will expand the station’s utility as a platform for a global user base and highlight the range of opportunities the new space economy offers,” Suffredini said.

Axiom Station is designed to start out as an International Space Station module but also have the capability to undock and become a free-flying outpost by as early as 2028. Under that scenario, SEE-1 would remain part of a separate Axiom Station.

The SEE-1 project follows up on a precedent that was set last October, when a Russian actress and a producer flew up to the space station to shoot scenes for a feature film titled “The Challenge” (“Vyzov”).

SEE said its partners, consultants and advisers include media industry figures with experience at ventures such as HBO, Endemol Shine and Viacom, plus the New York-based investment bank GH Partners. The company said it’s discussing the project with investors and commercial partners, and is planning a new financing round.

Lead image: An artist’s conception shows the spherical SEE-1 module attached to the International Space Station. Source: Space Entertainment Enterprise

Alan Boyle

Science writer Alan Boyle is the creator of Cosmic Log, a veteran of MSNBC.com and NBC News Digital, and the author of "The Case for Pluto." He's based in Seattle, but the cosmos is his home.

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