SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon
Two private citizens approached the company, are ‘very serious’ about the trip
SpaceX has plans to send two private citizens around the Moon, CEO Elon Musk announced today.
It will be a private mission with two paying customers, not NASA astronauts, who approached the company. The passengers are “very serious” about the trip and have already paid a “significant deposit,” according to Musk. The trip around the Moon would take approximately one week: it would skim the surface of the Moon, go further out into deep space, and loop back to Earth — approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles.
The plan is to do the trip in the second quarter of 2018 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to do its maiden launch this summer. Of course, Musk is well-known for his unrealistic deadlines — in 2011, he promised to put people in space in just three years.
The two people going on the trip, who weren’t named, already know each other. They will begin initial training for the trip later this year. Musk declined to comment on the exact cost of the trip, but said it was “comparable” or a little more than the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. For context, one ticket on the Russian Soyuz rocket costs NASA around $80 million.