TODAY'S PAPER
66° Good Evening
66° Good Evening
NewsNew York

Ashton Kutcher among the stars going to space on Virgin Galactic

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher Photo Credit: Getty/amNY photo illustration

A VIP list of Hollywood celebs want to mingle among the stars -- literally -- as Ashton Kutcher becomes the latest to snag a ticket to space.

The "Two and a Half Men" actor was confirmed as a space tourist on a Virgin Galactic flight, although Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry and "Apollo 13" star Tom Hanks have also reportedly signed on as well, according to MSNBC.com.

Their reps couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

As for New Yorkers, more than two dozen will get to be amateur astronauts and shuttled about 65 miles above Earth once flights start in 2013 or 2014, organizers said.

British billionaire and Virgin founder Richard Branson wrote on his blog this week that he personally called Kutcher, who is "thrilled as we are at the prospect of being among the first to cross the final frontier (and back!) with us."

The Twitter-friendly actor -- with a net worth of about $140 million -- should have no problem financing the $200,000 ticket.

The space tourism industry itself could be worth $1 billion in the next 10 years, a Federal Aviation Administration official told a congressional committee Tuesday.

Virgin Galactic plans to run a test flight of the SpaceShipTwo later this year out of New Mexico. Travelers will experience a few minutes of zero gravity once they leave the Earth's atmosphere.

So far, 26 New Yorkers "have made firm reservations and paid up" to be among the 503 space tourists from 50 countries to experience a flight, Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough told amNewYork on Tuesday.

Jim Clash, an adventure journalist from the Upper West Side, put down 10% in 2010 for his spot in line. He said he wouldn't mind rubbing elbows with Hanks because he "really knows the space business: He's a space nut."

Other New Yorkers, however, weren't too impressed with celebs who have their heads in the clouds.

"Only [they] can afford to go to space. I hope they stay there," said Tahe Piper, 34, of Manhattan.

(With Sheila Anne Feeney and Isabel Castro)

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news