Ashton Kutcher going to space?

It’s a headline that sounds like the premise to an elaborate prank on an episode of “Punk’d.” But British mogul Richard Branson confirms: Ashton Kutcher is going into space aboard the spacecraft dubbed the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, a.k.a. the VSS Enterprise.

Sir Richard Branson, the British multi-billionaire and owner of the Virgin Group brand that includes Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways, has started a new venture that’s out of this world. Virgin Galactic is set to be the first space line that offers suborbital flights for the paying public. On his blog, Branson revealed that the 500th “astronaut customer” to sign up for the space flight is Ashton Kutcher of “That 70’s Show” fame.

The flights cost $200,000 a pop. With the $700k an episode Kutcher is making as Charlie Sheen’s replacement on the hit CBS sitcom “2 and a Half Men,” the space trip costs less than a day’s work for the infamous celebrity prankster. A whole constellation of A-list stars scheduled to take a journey on the Virgin Galactic includes “Apollo 13” star Tom Hanks, world famous physicist Stephen Hawking, megastar couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and pop star Katy Perry, who’s starting to take her song “E.T.” a little too seriously.

“Ashton and I are good friends and we realized that we both shared a childhood dream of going to space. To be able to go up in the same spaceship will be incredible as the 499th and 500th on Virgin Galactic! I believe in the power of humanity and innovation allowing to us realize any dream and vision.” – Shervin Pishevar, entrepreneur also set to board the VSS Enterprise.

Sir Richard Branson’s commercial airplanes are a prime example of the Virgin mogul’s keen eye for style and innovation. Passengers aboard a plane from Virgin Atlantic Airways enjoy ambient lighting, a modern interior design, and touch screens at every seat, allowing them to browse through music, order cocktails, and even chat with other passengers throughout the duration of the journey.

You can only imagine what a Virgin spacecraft will be capable of. The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo is set to launch from New Mexico at Spaceport America, the first commercial spaceport in the world. The spacecraft seats six passengers and two pilots and is 60 feet long with a cabin 90” in diameter. Astronauts have ample room to float around in zero gravity, but passengers who wish to stay seated can still enjoy the sights with 2 windows at every seat, one located at the side of the ship and one right above your head, to give passengers a panoramic view of the galactic excursion.

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From his high profile marriage with actress Demi Moore to becoming the first Twitter user with a million followers, Ashton Kutcher just can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight. Now that he’s signed up to be the 500th customer aboard the Virgin Galactic space line, both Ashton Kutcher and Richard Branson prove yet again that the sky isn’t the limit. It’s only the beginning.

Godspeed, Ash-tronaut.

Photo by david_shankbone on flickr

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