Ashton Kutcher to fly onBranson’s first spacecraft


Ashton Kutcher has
signed up as an astronaut
tourist on Richard Branson’s
first spacecraft.
The British entrepreneur said on
his blog that Kutcher, star of
television comedy “Two and a
Half Men,” will take a ride on a
Virgin Galactic flight into
suborbital space, which gives
passengers a few minutes of
weightlessness.
“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,” Branson said on his
blog.
Virgin Galactic, a part of
Branson’s Virgin Group of
companies that includes Virgin
airlines, expects to test fly a
spacecraft beyond earth’s
atmosphere this year with
commercial passenger service to
follow in 2013 or 2014.
Kutcher was the 500th person
to sign up for rides on
SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger,
two-pilot spaceship being built
and tested by Scaled Composites,
an aerospace company founded
by aircraft designer Burt Rutan
and now owned by Northrop
Grumman.
The suborbital flights cost about
$200,000 per person, are
designed to reach an altitude of
about 68 miles, giving fliers a
few minutes to experience zero
gravity and glimpse earth set
against the blackness of space.
Branson said he and his children
will be on the first commercial
flight and considers Virgin
Galactic, which is the most
visible of a handful of companies
developing spaceships for
tourism, “the most exciting
business we have ever
launched.”
A spokesperson for Kutcher did
not return a call seeking
comment.
Kutcher, 34, took up a new
acting job replacing Charlie
Sheen on “Two and a Half Men”
this past September.

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