As kids, we were told that going to space required lots of time in school and grueling physical prep. But now, all you need to do is be mega rich. Virgin founder and billionaire Richard Branson got to test out his own Virgin Galactic spacescraft for the first time last week, even though technically he didn’t go into space (just high in the sky and close enough to space to brag about it). It also turns out that another famous rich guy almost went into “space” with Branson, too: Ashton Kutcher.
In an interview with Cheddar News, Ashton Kutcher shared that he was going to be part of the next spaceflight, but Mila Kunis was too concerned to let him go through with it. “When I got married and had kids, my wife basically encouraged that it was not a smart family decision to be heading into space when we have young children, so I ended up selling my ticket back to Virgin Galactic,” he tells Cheddar. He adds, “I was supposed to be on the next flight, but I will not be on the next flight.” However, Kutcher says he still is going to space “at some point.”
As CNN reported, Virgin Galactic spent nearly 2 decades working on a spaceship that’d make it possible to travel to the edge of space. Only 6 people embarked on their first test trip last week: Branson, Virgin Galactic executive Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic Chief Astronaut Instructor and Interiors Program Manager Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic Lead Operations Engineer Colin Bennett, and pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci. But Virgin Galactic has plans to these trips to space a regular thing and a few rich people managed to reserve tickets for a chance to fly out of Earth, priced between $200,000 and $250,000. And while that might sound steep, CNN says the company is selling more tickets soon at an even higher price.
Because this is the new hobby amongst bored billionaires, Jeff Bezos is also set to go into space on Tuesday in a spaceship made by his company Blue Origin. Bezos’ aerospace company auctioned off a ticket to join the flight for $28 million—far more than what it costs to travel on Virgin Galactic. These rich guys getting ample opportunities to avoid paying taxes by leaving Earth whenever they please is pretty fucked, but hey, we hope they enjoy their space trips so much that we won’t have to deal with them destroying our planet anymore.