Tom Hanks brings love of space to new immersive London show

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Archive footage of space rockets taking off beam across giant walls in a new immersive show in London, as Hollywood actor Tom Hanks narrates the story of human voyages to the moon.

“The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks” looks at the first moon landings of the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972 and their successor, NASA’s human spaceflight program, Artemis.

The next mission – the Artemis II lunar flyby – is planned for next year and interviews with the four-member team are also projected on the walls at the Lightroom gallery space in London’s King Cross area.

Tom Hanks poses at "The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks" immersive show, in London

“This show is about the wonder of the moon and the amazing creatures that have made it possible for members of their race to walk upon it,” Oscar-winner Hanks told Reuters in a joint interview with astronauts Victor Glover and Jeremy Hansen, chosen to fly on what will be the first crewed voyage around the moon in more than 50 years.

“…Men and women are going to go back…very soon and isn’t it wonderful that we have the curiosity and the drive in order to do something for which there is no rewarded riches, there’s no territory that is going to be conquered,” Hanks said. “The only thing that we are going to get is proof that…we can not only imagine the impossible, we can make the impossible possible.”

Tom Hanks poses at "The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks" immersive show, in London

Joining pilot Glover, who will be the first Black astronaut to be sent on a lunar mission, and mission specialist Hansen are mission specialist Christina Koch and mission commander Reid Wiseman.

Tom Hanks poses at “The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks” immersive show at the Lightroom venue in London, Britain in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on December 5, 2023. Justin Sutcliffe/Lightroom/Handout via REUTERS Acquire Licensing Rights

The Artemis program envisions building a long-term presence on the moon.

“We’ve been handed this amazing legacy and hopefully we can just contribute to it, but then hand that stick off to the next mission when it’s time for them,” Glover said.

Hanks played space commander Jim Lovell in the 1995 film “Apollo 13”, about the troubled space mission which was forced to abort a planned moon landing after an oxygen-tank explosion.

Asked if he wanted to go to space himself, he said: “If they need somebody to go up and just keep the windows clean and serve the food and clean up afterwards, I’d be their man.”

“There’s something about the experience. I think you need time. I know people can go up and they can come down and that’s a wonderful thing and that’s great. But I think I need a little bit more time up there to ponder the infinite universe.”

“The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks” runs December 6 – April 21, 2024.

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Sharon Singleton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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