The power of crowd funding has once more been harnessed to bring about a highly popular outcome but not before it nearly broke the Internet in the process.

A page that was set up by Labour Party activist, Tony Podmore from Bolton, to raise $1,000,000 to train Richard Branson as an astronaut, not only achieved its goal within two minutes of going live, but has now raised a staggering ten billion dollars and the total is still rising at the rate of $500,000 an hour; enough to build a one-way rocket capable of carrying the bearded Catweazle looky-likely far beyond the outer arm of our own galaxy.

A gobsmacked Mr Podmore said: ‘I’m staggered at the response and I am currently speaking to NASA to commission the rocket for the mission. I’m pleased to be able to report that they have agreed to drop their entire current programme to prioritise what they’re now calling ‘Project Major Tom’

Meanwhile on hearing the news Branson told BBC ‘I’m really delighted that the public thinks so highly of me that they want to see me achieve my ultimate schoolboy dream.’