Entries in Space Travel (2)


Kate Winslet Receives Ticket to Space

MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Kate Winslet will blast off to space thanks to a $200,000 ticket gifted to the actress from Sir Richard Branson.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the actress, who recently married Branson’s nephew Ned RocknRoll, received the out-of-this-world ticket from Branson as a thank you for rescuing his mother from a fire last year.  Winslet, who became a household name after her character survived the Titanic, became a hero when she rescued Branson’s then-90-year-old mother from a 4 a.m. fire at the private residence the businessman owns on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

As a thank you, Winslet will head to outer space.

According to the Virgin website, Winslet can look forward to “a brief moment of quiet before a wave of unimaginable but controlled power surges” during her journey in the Virgin Galactic shuttle.  That’s before being “instantly pinned back into your seat, overwhelmed but enthralled by the howl of the rocket motor and the eye- watering acceleration which, as you watch the read-out, has you traveling in a matter of seconds, at almost 2500 mph, over 3 times the speed of sound.”

Winslet’s new husband is reportedly a part-time employee of Virgin Galactic, and it’s unclear if he’ll be joining her for the ride into space.  Virgin Galactic, which plans to start flights next year, has already sold 530 tickets for £124,000 each; such people as Russell Brand, Ashton Kutcher and science genius Stephen Hawking are slated to go into low earth orbit.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Singer Sarah Brightman to Visit Space

ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/GettyImages(MOSCOW) -- Famed soprano Sarah Brightman announced Wednesday that she had signed up, and paid up, to become the next space tourist.

The classical crossover star has already passed medical and endurance tests at the cosmonaut training facility outside Moscow and is expected to blast off on a Russian Soyuz rocket sometime in 2015. She’s expected to spend about 10 days at the International Space Station.

Neither Brightman, nor the company Space Adventures, which brokered her trip, would confirm how much she’d paid for the adventure, but sources told ABC News the price tag was more than $50 million.

In an interview with ABC News after the announcement, Brightman said going to space was something she had always wanted to do, inspired by the space race she witnessed as a child in the 1960s.

“I’ve wanted to go to space, really, since I was a little girl,” she said.

Brightman is poised to become the eighth space tourist. The first was American Dennis Tito, who paid $20 million for the honor in 2001. The most recent was Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who in 2009 became the first clown in space.

Brightman would be the first singer in space and said she may even stage a performance from the space station.

“We’re in the planning for that,” she confirmed.

Brightman’s announcement came, perhaps by design, before the release of a new album and a yearlong global tour. After that she’ll head back to Moscow for another six months of cosmonaut training.

It may be entirely fitting that Brightman is striving to become a space tourist. Her first big pop hit in 1978 was called “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio