Tom Hanks was offered space flight – but ‘was asked to pay £20 million’ for it

A new kind of space race is rumbling on in the background and everyone wants to get celebrities to ride on their rockets.

Tom Hanks claimed on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' that he had been offered William Shatner's historic seat on Blue Origin's New Shepard.

He only turned it down, he said, because he didn't want to pay the massive £20million fee.

Instead William Shatner, former Star Trek actor best known for his role as Captain Kirk, went on to make history becoming the oldest person in space at 90 years old.

"Is it true that you were asked to go to space by Jeff Bezos before William Shatner?” Hanks, 65, was asked by Jimmy Kimmel.

“Well, yeah, provided I pay,” said Hanks. “And, you know, it cost 28 million bucks, or something like that.

“I’m doing good, Jimmy, I’m doing good. But I ain’t paying 28 [million] bucks.

"You know what, we could simulate the experience of going to space right now.

"I don't need to spend 28 million bucks to do that."

At the time of writing, Blue Origin has launched two suborbital trips with people on board. The first carrying 18-year-old Oliver Daemen alongside Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

After his record breaking flight, Shatner said: "I hope I never recover from this.

“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary, extraordinary. It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.

“To see the blue colour whip by you, and now you’re staring into blackness … everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see this.”

It seems famous faces reaching out into the final frontier is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. Last year it was announced that Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman would be taking to space to film a new movie.

It is understood the film will be made in collaboration Elon Musk's SpaceX and NASA.

Meanwhile, Russian actor Yulia Peresild and filmmaker Klim Shipenko made history as the first people to shoot a fiction film in space while producing the movie 'Challenge', about a surgeon who needs to perform emergency surgery on an astronaut.

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