Operation “Launch Kelso Into The Sun” is entering Stage One. Billionaire Sir Richard Branson announced on his blog (knighted billionaires have blogs now) that their 500th future astronaut customer on Virgin Galactic will be Ashton Kutcher. Branson is the CEO of Virgin Galactic, which has been testing commercial space flights since 2005. Their goal is to be the first commercial airline to offer suborbital spaceflights to anybody who has cash to burn. $200,000 per seat, to be exact. (Would Kevin Smith have to pay $400,000?)
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. As you can see from the video [below], our spaceships are not only very beautiful but are built and flying in the final stages of our exhaustive test flight program. We are guided by safety and so will ensure that everything is just as safe as it can possibly be before we start commercial services – particularly as I will be on the first commercial flight with my kids! [Richard Branson]
So we guess this means they won’t be launching it into the sun on that trip, but progress always takes time. We’ll just have to be patient. You never launch a celebrity directly into the sun on the first trip. That’s hardly sporting.
If the flight goes as planned, it’ll make Ashton Kutcher the first celebrity to be sent to space. Better luck next time, Lance Bass.