Sir Richard Branson has said his venture to launch paying tourists into space has netted its 500th customer – US actor Ashton Kutcher.
The British billionaire made the announcement on his blog, saying he gave the actor a quick call to congratulate him.
“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,” Richard wrote.
Ashton is among dozens of Hollywood names, international entrepreneurs, scientists, space buffs and others who have made a reservation to be among the first to reach the edge of the Earth on Richard”s Virgin Galactic spaceline.
Richard has said the aim is to make travelling to space safe and affordable for the masses, not just those who can afford the current $200,000 (£126,000) ticket price.
Virgin Galactic is in the final stages of its test flight programme. The company plans to begin commercial operations next year.