Ashton Kutcher has conquered television, acted on the big screen and now he has signed up to enter the final frontier, space.
The “Two and a Half Men” star is the 500th “astronaut customer” to sign up for a trip to the outer edges of the earth’s atmosphere on Virgin Galactic, the space line founded by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.
“I gave Ashton a quick call to congratulate and welcome him,” Branson wrote in a blog post Monday. ”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.”
Tickets for the two-and-a-half hour flight cost $200,000 and require a $20,000 deposit, according to the official company website. The deposit alone would be less than a day’s wages for the 34-year-old actor who signed an estimated $15.4 million contract when he replaced Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men” last year.
A date for Kutcher’s space flight has yet to be announced but the company has no plans to begin commercial operations until next year.
Launched by Branson in 2005, Virgin Galactic will be the first commercial airline to offer suborbital spaceflights. The Virgin Group mogul has said he and his children plan to be on the first commercial flight.
“I still sometimes have to pinch myself that it’s for real,” Branson said of his space dream-turned-reality.
“Ashton is joining a fast expanding group of true pioneers who are on their way to a life changing experience and a place in the history books,” he said. “It’s great to have him on board.”
Kutcher will travel in Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, also known as the VSS Enterprise, a six-seat spacecraft with two large windows for each passenger to check out the view. The shuttle will take off from Spaceport America, a terminal and runway built for Virgin’s galactic venture in a remote area of New Mexico.
While Kutcher is gaining attention as the 500th customer, he is not the first celebrity to sign up for the adventure. Singer Katy Perry, actor Tom Hanks, A-list couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and physicist Stephen Hawking are also reportedly on board for a space flight.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.