ABOVE AND BEYOND

Exclusive: Meet the World's First Porn Star Turned Astronaut

Yes, CoCo Brown will be the first porn star to be sent to space, training to travel on a suborbital flight in 2016. She opens up to The Daily Beast’s Aurora Snow about her journey.

08.01.15 2:35 AM ET

The closest porn has come to space was 20 seconds of zero gravity in the 1999 movie The Uranus Experiment: Part 2. Filmed on an airplane flying at an altitude of 11,000 feet, the momentary weightlessness was created when the plane went into a steep dive. Now, thanks to the emerging space tourism industry, porn may be able to achieve more than a 20-second illusion.

Pornhub, arguably the largest online porn website, wants to be the first company to offer space sex. So far their Indiegogo campaign has raised over $235,000 to fund the first sex tape in space featuring porn stars Eve Lovia and Johnny Sins. As interesting as it’d be to see sex attempted in zero-g, with little more than a week to go, Pornhub may fall short of its $3 million goal.

While that may delay the debut of XXX action in space, we will soon get to see a porn star in space—but she won’t be having sex.

CoCo Brown is about to make history as the first former adult actress to leave earth on a suborbital flight to space. In preparation for her 2016 flight, CoCo is undergoing grueling training as part of an elite group—one of the first 100 people to earn astronaut wings through XCOR. And it only cost her $100,000. Quite a bargain when you consider the $200,000-plus other companies are charging per passenger just to sightsee.

Before start-up companies like Virgin Galactic and XCOR entered the space tourism industry, Russia was the only place to go for uber-wealthy consumers in need of a recreational space trip. Back in 2001, American businessman Dennis Tito paid $20 million to be the first space tourist.  But in the last decade, technology has become increasingly affordable, and while you still have to be wealthy, you don’t have to be a multimillionaire to explore the edge of Earth’s atmosphere.

In a Daily Beast exclusive, Coco Brown opens about breaking down the barriers, acknowledging her biggest fears about going into space, why she doesn’t follow space news while training, and how someone who never dreamed of becoming an astronaut is on the verge of earning her wings.  

What first motivated you to pursue a trip to space?

CoCo Brown: In 2012 I was invited by a luxury concierge person I know. There was an invite for only twelve people and one person canceled, so I got that one guy’s ticket. All I saw on the invite was “space luncheon” and I had no clue what that meant. When I got there I realized they were talking about space travel and I was a little shocked, thinking, “Why am I here?”

Have you ever had an interest in space?

When I was a child, of course I was interested. One of my favorite movies was Space Camp. One of my favorite shows is The Universe, but who ever thinks they’ll actually have the opportunity to fly into space?

Why do you want to go to space?

I think it’s a wonderful thing. I love amusement parks and I love the scariest rides there. This will be like the scariest ride ever. I’m the person who gets the VIP ticket and says let’s do it again, again and again. I want the scariest ride. I think it’s going to be like the biggest roller coaster I’ve ever been on.

How long will you be in space?

It’s only an hour—but maybe two if something goes wrong. It could be longer if something goes wrong… maybe I never come back. Who knows?

Have you thought about that? About never coming back?

Yeah. There is a chance that I could die, of course. There is a chance that something could go wrong, absolutely. There is a danger of that.

How do you feel about that? Are you prepared for the danger?

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I was prepared for the danger the moment I signed up. That was the first thing I came to terms with. I thought, ‘You know what? I could die doing this.’ That was the first thing I thought about, that I could die.

And you went for it anyway?

Yeah, absolutely! I said, ‘Oh well. I guess you gotta die sometime.’ Honestly that’s how I think of things. Why should I not do it? I drive 200 mph on the Autobahn in my car every day when I’m in Germany. I drive as fast as the car in front of me will let me go and I know I could die then.

What is one of your biggest fears about going to space, or do you have any?

You know when you are on an airplane and you have that feeling in your ears, that pop? That is one of my biggest fears. I’ve been on a plane for three hours when that feeling didn’t go away. It’s the worst feeling ever and you don’t enjoy anything until the feeling goes away, and that’s what scares me the most. Or if the pilot has a heart attack and I have to bring us back, because I am the co-pilot of this flight.

Have you been following any space news?

At this point unless I get information from XCOR I don’t really follow too much because I don’t want to hear bad news. I don’t want to know these things. It’s on my mind, but I don’t want to think about it. If I change my mind they’re not giving me my money back.

Have you received any ridicule as a former porn star training to go to space?

Not really. Maybe a few people have been against it, and mostly because they have something to do with the space industry. They worked really hard and have dedicated many years to this business and then I come along and get something they want. Honestly, I got more ridicule in the rap industry when I was doing music.

Why do you think that was?

The music industry is weird. There is no meshing—either you are one or the other.

Are you still pursuing a career in music?

Not at this moment. I feel the industry is not where I want to be right now. I see a change in the music industry similar to what I saw in the porn industry. Porn is great but it’s just not like it used to be. There are no more stars, there’s not much recognition, and with music there’s not really anywhere for people of color. It’s just that way in America. Now I DJ and that I find very interesting, but I also see it as a dying industry. It’s not what it was two years ago.

Why do you feel the music industry isn’t a place for people of color right now?

Everything and everyone has a time and right now is not the time, in my personal opinion, for someone who is not already completely established in that industry as a person of color. Now if you’re white, I think you should try it. But that’s fading out, too. Who knows how it’ll be months from now. The industry is always about color. I’m not that kind of person. I live in Germany so I can’t really say things about color here, either you do a great job or you don’t, but it’s different in America.

So in your opinion is Germany less racist than America?

Yes, definitely. They aren’t racist but they have a superiority complex about things. They know they are smarter and are always ready to bring out the books and show you the data.

Speaking of breaking down barriers, do you take any joy in knowing you’ll be the first former adult actress in space?

I never thought about it like that when I first signed up. That never crossed my mind, but the press has made me think about it a little more. What I enjoy is the fact that I am doing something for other porn stars and for other women. It doesn’t matter who or what you are or where you came from or what your background was, you can do anything.

What are you most looking forward to about going to space?

Seeing space and then… I wonder if my boobs will float. Will they? There’s no gravity. I never noticed it in the training. You notice the rest of your body losing gravity but I’d like to see… Do fake boobs do something weird in space? I don’t know…

What’s your training like?

It’s exhausting. The training that we have to do is very intense over a few days. They cram these days in because there are 100 astronauts in this program; only 100 people in this program are allowed to be astronauts, after that you’re just commercial. You don’t fly the way we fly and you don’t get astronaut wings.

Are you excited about earning your astronaut wings?

That was the main focus for me. I get my pilot’s license and I get to become an astronaut and earn real astronaut wings. I’m actually learning something. This isn’t just a commercial flight, there’s no one else to throw up on me; if I throw up it is all on me. It’s just me and the pilot and I am helping him fly. It’s a two-person thing and I am the lookout, and I think that’s one of the most exciting things about it.

Do you see this as the ultimate trip to take?

I really wanted something besides a trip; I wanted to make something bigger out of it. I want to set a precedent for other people, for other women in the industry. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, it matters what you do today.