Justin Bieber signs on to fly into space
Justin Bieber has signed on to fly into space when Richard Branson's planned Virgin Galactic enterprise launches, and may even shoot a music video there.
"Great to hear Justin Bieber and [his manager] Scooter Braun are latest Virgin Galactic future astronauts," Branson tweeted on Wednesday. "Congrats, see you up there!"
Pop singer Bieber tweeted in response, "Let's shoot a music video in SPACE!! #nextLEVEL." Branson Thursday tweeted back, "Music video in space? Now that's what I call music!"
Braun tweeted simply, "I'm going to space, momma!!"
Bieber, 19, joins approximately 600 people who have paid $200,000 or, since last month, $250,000 each to book a suborbital ride aboard SpaceShipTwo, a rocket-powered, six-passenger space vehicle. It will fly to an altitude of 62 miles, generally considered the cusp of outer space.
Other celebrities who have signed on include Ashton Kutcher, whom Branson said in March 2012 had become the 500th ticket-holder, and Leonardo DiCaprio. At the Cannes Film Festival last month, a bidder at an AmFAR Cinema Against AIDS charity paid $1.5 million to win a trip on Virgin Galactic sitting next to DiCaprio.
Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic eight and a half years ago and initially planned to begin commercial flights in 2007, said he hopes to begin carrying passengers by the end of the year.
On April 29, in the skies above California's Mojave Desert, SpaceShipTwo made its first powered test flight and its initial breaking of the sound barrier.