Some of Virgin Galactic’s Early Celebrity Customers Have Sold Their Tickets

Sir Richard Branson flew into space aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel, a voyage he described as the “experience of a lifetime” at the Spaceport America in New Mexico, United States on July 11, 2021. Virgin Galactic / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflights are attracting powerful customers, including SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. But some of its earliest celebrity followers have quietly opted out. Among them is Ashton Kutcher, who bought a ticket back in 2012. The actor and investor has sold his golden ticket, probably a few years ago, he revealed during an interview this week in New York.

“I was booked on a flight to go to space and, in fact, I’m quite rueful about the fact that I am not going to space,” Kutcher told Mashable in an interview during AT&T’s 5G event in New York City on Wednesday.

“My wife asked me to sell my ticket to space because she didn’t think that it was a smart family decision,” he went on to explain. “So I’m no longer going to space.”

Kutcher snagged Virgin Galactic’s 500th ticket in 2012 for $200,000. (The price has since gone up to $250,000 and will likely go even higher.) At the time the company was hoping to begin commercial service in 2013 or 2014. The plan was significantly delayed after a Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashed and killed a pilot during a test flight in 2014.

It took Virgin several years to modify its spacecraft and resume testing. The company received FAA approval to fly paying customers last month and successfully launched a full six-person crew, including the founder Richard Branson, on one of its final test flights this past weekend.

A lot has happened to Kutcher since he bought the space ticket as well. In 2015, Kutcher married actress Mila Kunis. They have a son and a daughter.

Asked who he would take with him to space if he had a ticket, Kutcher said he would take his daughter, “who wants to be a chef in outer space.”

“Although the other day she decided maybe she didn’t want to be an astronaut chef, she just wanted to be an astronaut,” he added. “I’m not sure. But I will take her with me to space.”

Virgin Galactic says it has received about 600 reservations and $80 million in deposits. For its business model to work, analysts estimate that the company needs to fly 1,700 individuals to space each year. At its current price point, Virgin’s total addressable market is about two million people, according to equity analysts at Vertical Research Partners. Some of Virgin Galactic’s Early Celebrity Customers Have Sold Their Tickets