Virgin Galactic Hits 500th Customer with Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher, millionaut. (Credit: David Shankbone)

This just in from Sir Richard Branson

Great news today news from our Astronaut Relations team at Virgin Galactic: our 500th future astronaut customer has just signed up! Even better news is that number 500 is Ashton Kutcher. 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, 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!

Kudos! That’s a very impressive milestone.


  • Anonymous

    Impressive marketing. Other than that Branson just BSing again. They got one spaceship in the air singular. It ain’t come anywhere close to space. And how can it be in the final stages of anything without any powered flights. It’s still a big expensive glider after like 8 years. Anybody think like me that Branson has no idea what the hell he’s talking about?

  • I don’t care if Ashton Kutcher goes to space. However, if he has a life changing “overview effect” moment while looking out the portholes and realizes he should fund “higher education,” that is, the opportunity for dozens if not hundreds of students worldwide to see Earth from 100km up.

    Imagine teams of 6 or more from countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, who have had no citizens in space, from poets and animators to philosophy and poli sci majors, from waste management professionals to loggers and fishermen. Imagine the ripple effect their realizations would have on the world.

  • You’re digging too deeply. If the small fraction of astronauts who had ‘profound’ experiences in space is any guide, most suborbital (and orbital) tourists will simply have…a good time.

    And there is nothing wrong with that.

  • If it’s an awesome experience, they will be lining up to spend a small fortune to go back into space again as soon as possible. And if the industry takes off, then they will also be prime targets as investors for follow-on projects. That has some interesting implications.

    Given that the International Space Station is humanity’s sole piece of human infrastructure in space, the demands for capital to really build up space into some place where a lot of people can visit, live and work in will be virtually endless.

    There’s nothing else up there. There are no natives to trade with. No accommodates where you can say. No rivers where you can get water or trees to provide nourishment and shelter. No wildlife to provide sustenance. The transport systems to get there and back are costly and barely adequate.

    I think that sets up a competitive for funding resources that the Earth’s environment could lose. After your ride into space, are you going to want to save a rain forest. Probably. Are going to buy another ticket on Virgin/XCOR/Armadillo? Absolutely. Which one wins out? And will you care more about preserving green down here or how much green you’re going to make with that sure-fire investment in that orbital hotel someone is building?