News & Politics

Going Where No Honeymoon Has Gone Before

When DC’s George Whitesides and Loretta Hidalgo tied the knot in September, their wedding may have been the traditional type, but the honeymoon will be out of this world.

The two are planning to be the first couple to take their honeymoon in space when they hop aboard Virgin Galactic’s first commercial tourist space flight.

The desire to soar is not uncharacteristic for the pair. Whitesides is executive director of the National Space Society, and Hidalgo is president of the Space Generation Foundation. Both teach zero-gravity flights and are cofounders of the annual, worldwide Yuri’s Night celebration, which toasts the anniversary of the first man shot into space—the USSR’s Yuri Gagarin.

“Space is what brought our souls together,” says Hidalgo. “It fits with our philosophy that space represents the best of humanity—international cooperation, appreciation of our planet, adventure and exploration, and, of course, love.”

The September 3 ceremony took place in the Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon, but that was the end of anything space-related in the ceremony. “We’re trying to play down the space kitsch,” says Hidalgo. Until their honeymoon in space, of course, which is scheduled for 2008.

Ticket price for the inaugural rides: $200,000 per person.