Good news, Justin Bieber haters: Richard Branson is launching the increasingly unstable pop star into space. Bad News: He plans on coming back to Earth.
According to a tweet by the multi-billionaire Virgin Group owner, Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun, have signed up to become astronauts on Branson's Virgin Galactic space enterprise, which plans to start flying tourists on suborbital trips sometime later this year.
— richardbranson (@richardbranson) June 5, 2013
Branson is no stranger to publicity stunts. Last year the company announced they would send a frequent flier into space, and Branson famously has a lax attitude toward flight attendants interrupting anyone who wants to join the Mile High Club aboard one of his Virgin Airlines flights.
Bieber quickly responded to Branson's announcement, saying he's interested in shooting a music video in space. For the record, actual astronaut Chris Hadfield made history last month when he shot a music video to David Bowie's "Space Oddity" aboard the International Space Station before he returned to Earth.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 5, 2013
The pop music juggernaut has lately shown signs he might not be completely prepared to handle leaving the atmosphere. He was recently booed at the Billboard Music Awards during a speech in which he espoused his musical legitimacy, has been spotted wearing Michael Jackson-esque full body coverings and gas masks, has a whole slew of drug use rumors swirling around him and has thrown major tantrums about being snubbed at the Grammys.
All indications point to Branson's Virgin Galactic enterprise being nearly ready to take off. The company recently tested its six-seated SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert and is reportedly in the "final phase of vehicle testing prior to commercial service." More than 530 people have signed up to take the $200,000 trip to space.
No word if the Bieb is channeling Lance Bass here or if it was Branson's idea, but both he and Braun appear to be onboard. America, for its part, likely wouldn't mind if the ship kept going and Bieber took his music and his angel wings to another planet: A poll taken last month by Public Policy Polling found that Democrats, Republicans and independents can finally agree on something – they all view the artist unfavorably.