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Ashton Kutcher: Space tourist (VIDEO)

Ashton Kutcher is the 500th customer to sign up for traveling in space.
Ashton kutcher space touristEnlarge
Ashton Kutcher was the 500th customer to sign up for billionaire Richard Branson's venture to take paying tourists into space, it was announced on March 19, 2012. The venture, known as Virgin Galactic, will involve a suborbital trip into outer space. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Billionaire Richard Branson announced today that Ashton Kutcher was the "500th future astronaut customer" on the Virgin Galactic.

The venture would launch paying tourists on a suborbital trip into outer space, according to MSNBC. Branson, the founder, gave Ashton a call to congratulate and welcome him, and said, "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."

According to MSNBC, a ticket on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane would cost $200,000. Other celebrities reportedly on the list include Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, while physicist Stephen Hawking will be enjoying a free ride, courtesy of Branson.

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The AFP reported that Branson opened the world's first ever commercial spaceport in New Mexico last October. "Spaceport America" will likely be housing two WhiteKnightTwos, the aircrafts which will launch five SpaceShipTwos into orbit.

The Associated Press said Virgin Galactic is in its final stages of test flight, and Branson said the aim is to one day make space travel safe and affordable for the general public.

"Customers will get a 2 1/2-hour flight with about five minutes of weightlessness and views of Earth that until now only astronauts have been able to experience," said the AP.

Here is a demonstration of the spacecraft's flight, courtesy of Virgin Galactic:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/ashton-kutcher-space-tourist-virgin-galactic-video