Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Katy Perry are booked to go
“I’m goin to space Momma!!”
But after a week that’s included two major explosions and the death of a test pilot, the pop star and his manager – along with a host of other celebrities – might be reconsidering their travel plans.
The BBC reports that more than 800 private citizens have already invested between $200,000 to $250,000 for a spot on the two-hour suborbital flight – and many of the names on the list are extremely well-known.
Tom Hanks, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lance Bass, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Paris Hilton and Ashton Kutcher are just some of the celebs scheduled for lift off, according to New York’s Daily News.
When Ashton Kutcher became the 500th passenger to book his flight, Branson blogged, “[Ashton] 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.”
After today’s tragic events, the “and back” part may remain in serious question. although, Dr. Patricia Hynes, director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, told The New York Times that Friday’s crash of the SpaceShipTwo would not cause her to cash in her own Virgin Galactic ticket.
“No, absolutely not,” she told the newspaper.
So far there’s no word of anyone else backing out, either, though refunds are available according to the company’s website.
On Saturday, Branson addressed the accident at a press conference as the National Transportation Safety Board began its investigation.
“Yesterday, we fell short,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “We’ll now comprehensively assess the results of the crash and are determined to learn from this and move forward.”
• Additional reporting by STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN