"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has declined a trip into space that was offered to her for £2 million ($3,222,600,) reports the Irish Independent.
"I was offered a seat. For a mere £2 million I could have been on the shuttle, but I turned it down," she is quoted as saying to fans at a book event.
It's unlikely she meant the space shuttle, since, as The Examiner points out: "NASA has never sold seats on space shuttle flights nor has allowed any other entity to do so." The paper also contends that she couldn't be referring to Russia's space tourism program as £2 million is too low for a ride on the Soyuz.
That's also more than double the price of space rides that were being offered by Excalibur Almaz, a commercial aerospace company based on the Isle of Man, so that doesn't look like a contender.
The most probable culprit is Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic program. Though, according to Space.com, Branson wrote that Rowling was offered the trip "by parties unknown...which she understandably turned down."
Despite the rumor that Virgin Galactic itself offered the ride, the website reports that Branson was sticker shocked by the £2 million price tag -- SpaceShip Two tickets are going for a comparatively paltry $200,000.
If Rowling does decide to change her mind, Branson announced this summer that the first space flight will take place in 2013. So far celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Stephen Hawking are slated to head out of orbit. That is, of course, if SpaceShip Two doesn't continue to "drop like a rock" like it did during preliminary testing.
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