Tom Cruise may be taking a wait-and-see approach to blasting into space aboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic - but Leonardo DiCaprio? He's ready - and already taking advantage of the pioneering event to raise some money for charity. 

The 38-year-old actor became the biggest name yet to reveal he would be aboard one of the space flights scheduled for 2014. Sharon Stone, host of the 20th amfAR auction for AIDS research last week, made the announcement and then offered bidders an enticing package. Would anyone like to spend three days training with DiCaprio for the flight and then sit next to him for the ride? $1.5M later, that answer was a resounding yes from Russian Vasily Kylukin. Another couple paid $2.3 for two seats on the same Virgin Galactic voyage. 

Overall, the evening's festivities raised $25M for AIDS research. Virgin Galactic, which hopes to start commercial trips into space later this year, has over 500 people already signed up for the $200,000 per seat flights. Stars expected to join DiCaprio include Russell Brand, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, and even Stephen Hawking - who reportedly has a free ticket courtesy of Branson

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Fans pay $3.8M for space flight with Leonardo DiCaprio
'The Great Gatsby' star auctioned off seats on the Virgin Galactic space flight during an AIDS charity auction last week.