Tom Hanks in Apollo 13

Celebrities Becoming Astronauts – part 2

As we are nearing the end of 2013, let’s have a look at some more people who will be able to  call themselves astronauts soon…

Actor/Director Tom Hanks – one of the most recognised actors of his generation all time, Hanks starred in block busters like Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, Toy Story and Apollo 13. Aside from his acting creds, he also successfully collaborated with film director Steven Spielberg on several movies, as well as the 2001 mini-series Band of Brothers and its sequel The Pacific. A supporter of NASA‘s manned space program, Hanks has said that he originally wanted to be an astronaut but “didn’t have the math.” He does serve on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit educational space advocacy organisation and worked on several space related series and films over the years.

Singer Katy Perry – after buying her now ex Russell Brand a ticket, Perry decided to do the deed as well and get one for herself the year after. “I’m so into extraterrestrial stuff,” she said. “It’s very difficult for me to look up into the sky in the middle of the night and not think that our planet is one of… a bajillion.” Like she sings in a recent record called E.T. with Kayne West: “It’s supernatural. Extraterrestrial” Yes, it might be…

Princess Beatrice – who also goes by ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York’ as the eldest daughter of HRH The Duke of York and his now divorced wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, is destined to become the first royal in space. Born on the 8th August 1988 (8/8/88), she’s not a stranger to firsts mind you – she already became the first member of the British Royal Family to complete the London Marathon, raising money for Children in Crisis. Her link to this space adventure? Long-term boyfriend Dave Clark is head of astronaut relations at the company and Prince Andrew is reportedly also interested in the project. It’s good to have friends in high places, but when you are fifth in line for the throne, you don’t need any help surely.

Director Bryan Singer – won critical acclaim for his work on The Usual Suspects, and in recent years has worked on several sci-fi movies including the X-Men series and Superman Returns. Unknown perhaps to most people, it isn’t actually Singer’s first trip to space. In 2002, Patrick Stewart (who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard) got him to appear in Star Trek Nemesis as a Starfleet officer on the bridge of the Enterprise, after finding out that Singer was a lifelong Star Trek fan. Perhaps equally exciting as an actual trip to space, and definitely cheaper.

Actor Ashton Kutcher – signed up in April 2012 to become Virgin Galactic’s 500th customer, which Richard Branson tweeted about himself. “I gave Ashton a quick call to congratulate and welcome 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,” Branson wrote. Starring in several movies, he is perhaps most famous for his portrayal of Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That ’70s Show. Another feat Kutcher produced was that he became the first user of Twitter to have more than 1,000,000 followers. One million. Impressive.

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