Apollo 11's Walk of Fame plaque

Celebrities Becoming Astronauts

With Bob Geldof just having announced that he too signed up to travel into space as a passenger on a commercial space flight, let’s have a look at a small portion of this eclectic mix of celebrities, scientists, and entrepeneurs who have taken the same leap of faith already and dug deep into their pockets for it.

Scientist Professor Stephen Hawking – the man needs no introduction. Having more acronyms behind his name than a systems architect’s CV, including being a Commander in the Order of the British Empire, he is not only the most famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist who’s ever lived, but possibly also the most famous disabled person on the planet. This came to show with his appearance at the London 2012 Paralympics in which he had a major part. He is the author of several books that made space science popular with the masses and truly a living legend and inspiration to us all. Probably also the only person to receive a free Virgin Galactic ticket! Not only to fulfill his own dream of going into space, but to raise awareness for what he sees as humanity’s vital mission to explore the stars.

Designer Philippe Starck – the son of an aeronautics engineer, Starck is equally well known as an interior designer, a designer of consumer goods, and for his industrial design and his architectural creations. His concept of democratic design led him to focus on mass-produced consumer goods rather than one-off pieces, seeking ways to reduce cost and improve quality in mass-market goods. He has several restaurants to his credit and for the past thirty years has been designing hotels all over the world. Starck was also the first designer to participate in the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design).

Entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk – see here

Comedian Russell Brand – awkward! Brand’s ticket was bought for his 35th birthday by his ex-wife Katy Perry. After hosting Big Brother’s Big Mouth where he achieved notoriety, had starred in several movies including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and did voice acting for Despicable Me and its sequel just recently. In the dictionary it would probably have his picture next to the word ‘eccentric’ and while he managed to get himself fired from both MTV and the BBC in a very public manner because of his behaviour, it’s his past with drugs and alcohol that influences much of his comedic material.

Bob Geldof – Irish singer-songwriter and political activist, Geldof rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band the Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s alongside the punk rock movement. He co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, one of the best-selling singles of all time, but Geldof is these days perhaps even more known for his activism, especially his anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he co-founded Band Aid and went on to organise the charity super-concert Live Aid among other pursuits. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, among numerous other awards and nominations.

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