Who has an extra $250,000?

richard-bransonWow – some fascinating prices and facts about Virgin founder and billionaire Richard Branson’s “Space Race” from the New York Times:

The irrepressible English billionaire industrialist Sir Richard Branson, who has built his Virgin brand into a global empire, is finally expanding into the only place left: outer space. His Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo is poised to become the first commercial aircraft to take civilians into the thermosphere. The six-passenger spaceliner, which has taken a decade and several hundred million dollars to go from fantasy to reality, has maintained a reservation list since 2005, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry already claiming spots. But they’ll have to wait to take their turn after Branson, who plans to be the first to fly in 2014. It’s a moment he’s been waiting for since he was 19 and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the moon. “I was glued to the television,” he recalls, “and already dreaming of joining them in space.”