Private Israeli Astronaut Made Fortune Selling Weapons, Security Systems & Other Services to Developing Nations

Michael Lopez-Alegria, Eytand_Stibbe and two unidentified individuals will fly on the AX-1 mission. (Credit: Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A former fighter pilot paying to become the second Israeli to fly into space late next year made his fortune by supplying military weapons, security systems and other services to the governments of Angola, Nigeria, Haiti, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Eytan Stibbe, 62, will join retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and two unidentified individuals on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for a privately-funded mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Stibbe will pay for the cost of the trip and stay at the station.

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Rules Published for Competing for Lead Role on ISS Feature Film

Credit: Roscosmos

Unclear if this is casting for or competition to Tom Cruise’s feature film to be shot next year.

Dmitry goes to Hollywood(ski) as Roscosmos boss snags himself a producer credit.

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The competition has started, the winner of which will receive the main role in the first feature film shot in space. The motion picture with the tentative title “Challenge” is a joint project of the State Corporation Roscosmos, Channel One and the studio Yellow, Black and White. Filming will take place at the International Space Station in the fall of 2021.

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Universal Studios Bidding for Tom Cruise Space Movie

International Space Station (Credit: NASA/Roscosmos)

Variety reports that despite there being no script yet, Universal Studios is already in negotiations for the Tom Cruise film to be shot aboard the International Space Station.

The movie, which will be directed by former Cruise collaborator Doug Liman, made waves in May for its record-chasing ambition and for recruiting the full cooperation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA, who will house the production on the International Space Station.

This kind of innovation does not come cheap. Sources said the production budget has been set at $200 million in the most optimistic projections. Cruise could earn somewhere between $30 million and $60 million, according to insiders. This would cover his services as a producer and star, and also be comprised of significant first-dollar gross participation over a windfall up front.

The inherent marketing value around a global event like this is obvious. Similar to the recent historic launch of SpaceX’s Dragon crew vessel, the entire world will watch as Cruise is rocketed into space, forcing natural curiosity around the results. The stakes are also high from a filmmaking standpoint. As one person familiar with the project put it, “you can’t be sure what you’re going to get up there, and you have one shot to do it.”