Ashton Kutcher Books a Flight to SpaceShauna Wright |
When Ashton Kutcher needs to get away, he really gets away. The 'Two and a Half Men' actor has just become the 500th person to book a voyage on Virgin Galactic -- and it's a trip that will take him all the way to outer space.
Virgin Galactic, owned by Virgin Airlines chief Richard Branson, will operate flights that venture just beyond the space barrier on a specially-built rocket ship at a cost of $200,000 a seat. And while no scheduled launch dates are in place, the company has been taking reservations for a while now.
After learning Kutcher was the 500th person to sign up, Branson said on his blog:
"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 ... Ashton is joining a fast expanding group of true pioneers who are on their way to a life changing experience and a place in the history books. It’s great to have him on board."
Kutcher isn't the only celeb who's signed up -- Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have reportedly reserved seats, and Beyonce and Jay-Z are considering doing so as well.
So what does the former Mr. Demi Moore have to look forward to? First, he and the other passengers will spend three days doing training and preparations exercises at a dedicated facility in New Mexico. Assuming all goes well, the group will board a carrier airplane with Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket ship slung underneath. That plane will then take off, fly to 50,000 feet, and launch the attached rocket ship.
But don't expect to see Ashton planting any flags on the moon. The flights are just up-and-down “suborbital” jaunts -- like a giant roller coaster ride -- with five minutes of weightlessness at their peak.
That's certainly one way to escape the paparazzi.