Justin Bieber In Space: How Much Will Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher And The Biebs Pay For Private Virgin Galactic Flight? [VIDEO]
Justin Bieber's space flight with Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceline, is slated for the year's end, if all goes according to plan. The 19-year-old teenage heartthrob, reportedly worth about $110 million, shelled out a whopping $250,000 a ticket for the trip (a 25 percent price hike from its original $200,000 price tag). His manager, Scooter Braun will be joining him, bringing the Bieb's space flight bill to half a million dollars.
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Richard Branson, the 62-year-old capitalist juggernaut-turned-astronaut and founder of the multi-billion-dollar business conglomerate Virgin Group, announced the production of Virgin Galactic in Sept. 2004. The space tourism company will take paying customers into suborbital space, where they can experience zero gravity 62 miles above Earth's surface and be able to snap photos of Earth from the windows of a six passenger private space craft (Bieber's totally unofficial and near-made-up principal concern? "Is there cell service in space? I need to Instagram these pics!").
Branson gave Bieber a shout out over Twitter regarding his space flight bookings. "Great to hear @justinbieber & @scooterbraun are latest @virgingalactic future astronauts. Congrats, see you up there!" he tweeted Wednesday.
— richardbranson (@richardbranson) June 5, 2013
Bieber retweeted the post, the Internet world's equivalent of giving someone a high-five or a two finger gun salute. And it looks like space travel has been a dream of Bieber's for some time now. Back in February, Bieber tweeted that he'd like to host an interstellar performance. "I wanna do a concert in space," he said.
I wanna do a concert in space — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 23, 2013
He just might get his chance.
And the Biebs isn't the only celebrity dolling out the dough for a spot on a two-and-a-half-hour private space flight. The guest list of over 600 amateur astronauts reportedly includes "The Great Gatsby" star Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
In April, Virgin Galactic made its first successful space flight landing with SpaceShipTwo. The craft, designed to carry six passengers, departed from its dock at California's Mojave Air and Space Port, where it was transported to an altitude of 47,000 feet by a twin-fuselage jet called WhiteKnightTwo. From Space.com:
SpaceShipTwo's rocket engines will kick on at this point, blasting the craft to a maximum altitude of 361,000 feet (110,000 m). Passengers will see the blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth, and they'll experience about five minutes of weightless, company officials say.
Here's a video of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo flight:
"The successful outcome of this test marks a pivotal point for our program," Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides said back in April. "We will now embark on a handful of similar powered flight tests, and then make our first test flight to space."
IScience Times reported that while commercial space flights were initially scheduled to begin six years ago, in 2007, financial and engineering obstacles got in the way, causing the mission to be postponed.
Now, Virgin Galactic expects to launch the first commercial space flight from a custom-designed spaceport before the end of the year, pending government approval.
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