Ashton Kutcher is heading into space. The Hollywood star has signed up to head to the stars aboard Virgin Galactic, the company launched by Sir Richard Branson in 2005. Virgin Galactic says it will be the first commercial airline to offer suborbital space flights to those who can afford the hefty price tag.
Via his blog, Branson said, ”I gave Ashton a quick call to congratulate and welcome him. He is as thrilled as we are at the prospect of being among the first to cross the final frontier (and back!) with us and to experience the magic of space for himself.” Kutcher has signed up to be the 500th so-called astronaut-customer aboard the luxury space liner. The date of his voyage is unknown, and the company is not slated to even begin commercial operations until next year.
While every child dreams of traveling to the stars, the number of physics classes required to be an astronaut usually proves prohibitive. Now celebrities like Kutcher and multi-millionaires like Branson can actualize their astronaut dreams for a price. Tickets aboard the shuttle cost $200,000 and require a $20,000 deposit, according to the official company website, but for a star of Kutcher’s stature and pay grade, that’s less than a week’s work. The 34-year-old actor signed an estimated $15.4 million contract when he replaced Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men last year.
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Kutcher is not alone in his space quest. Celebrities including Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and physicist Stephen Hawking have all reportedly signed up for a space flight. The thought of commercial space travel is certainly alluring, and even Branson claims he still has “to pinch [him]self that it’s for real.” Ashton Kutcher is one step closer to realizing the dream of flying into space. And we’re guessing his soon-to-be ex-wife Demi Moore is hoping that he’ll stay there.