Kutcher becomes 500th Virgin Galactic customer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) ? Richard Branson says his venture to launch paying tourists into space has netted its 500th customer, and it’s none other than Ashton Kutcher.

Branson made the announcement on his blog Monday. He called the actor to congratulate him and said Kutcher is thrilled at the prospect of being among the first to cross “the final frontier” aboard Virgin Galactic.

A representative for Kutcher did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Virgin Galactic is in the final stages of its test flight program. The company plans to launch its spacecraft from Spaceport America, a special terminal and runway built in southern New Mexico’s desert.

Virgin Galactic plans to begin commercial operations at the spaceport in 2013. Branson says he and his children plan to be on the first commercial flight.