Are We Seriously Sending Ashton Kutcher to Space?
Heads up, everyone: Ashton Kutcher might be going to space soon with Virgin Galactic. Hey, at least it’s not NASA!
First, let me give you a moment to wrap your head around the fact that Virgin—yes, the conglomerate run by Richard Branson that includes Virgin Airways, Virgin Books, Virgin Media, Virgin Megastores, and eight million other properties—has a branch called Virgin Galactic that’s geared towards marketing and operating commercial space flights.
Got that? Good. Now let me give you a moment to wrap your head around the fact that we’re about to send Ashton Kutcher into space.
Seriously? Why the heck are we sending ASHTON KUTCHER, of all people, into space?!
Okay, okay, maybe I’m overreacting a little; it’s not like he’s about to go on a NASA mission or whatever. Richard Branson announced on his blog on Monday that Virgin Galactic just got its 500th future astronaut customer, and that that 500th astronaut customer is Ashton Kutcher. Richard made sure to let us know that he “gave Ashton a quick call to congratulate and welcome him” and noted that the actor is “as thrilled as we are at the prospect of being among the first to cross the final frontier (and back!).” Ashton Kutcher still wouldn’t be my first choice of celebrity entities to send into space (especially not after everything he’s been up to this year), but he’s apparently paying a pretty penny for the honor—$200,000 for a round trip—so at least there’s that. Or something.
Nor is Ashton the only celeb on Virgin Galactic’s future passenger list; according to MSNBC’s Cosmic Log, Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie are all down for space travel, and Beyonce and Jay-Z are considering the idea. All of the stars are paying their own way—except for Stephen Hawking, who has been granted a free ride by Branson. This is unsurprising, because he is STEPHEN HAWKING.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane is currently being tested at the Mojave Air and Space Port; it could conceivably be in the air as early as next year. For the curious, here’s Virgin Galactic’s flight showreel:
Sure, it looks neat; but personally? I’m still trying to get over the fact that I keep typing “Virgin Galactic” and that it is a REAL THING.
I’m still waiting on commercial time travel, though.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.