SpaceX announces plans to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon next year
Space exploration company SpaceX has announced plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year, in what will be the first time humans have entered deep space in 45 years.
The passengers have “already paid a significant deposit” for the mission, SpaceX said in a statement today.
“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration,” the statement read.
“We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year.”
The mission may be the first of many involving private citizens, SpaceX said.
“Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow,” the statement read.
The company will release further information about the first private teams once they pass tests.
SpaceX also thanked NASA, which provided most of the funding for Dragon 2 development.
The moon mission will also use SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which was developed with internal funding and is due to launch its first test flight.
“Once successful, will be the most powerful vehicle to reach orbit after the Saturn V moon rocket,” SpaceX’s statement read.
“Later this year, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, we will launch our Crew Dragon (Dragon Version 2) spacecraft to the International Space Station.
“This first demonstration mission will be in automatic mode, without people on board.
“A subsequent mission with crew is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2018. SpaceX is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew.”
“By also flying privately crewed missions, which NASA has encouraged, long-term costs to the government decline and more flight reliability history is gained, benefiting both government and private missions.”
The private mission would involve circumnavigating the moon and returning to Earth, and the spacecraft would lift-off will be from the Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral,
“They will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them,” SpaceX said.
“Designed from the beginning to carry humans, the Dragon spacecraft already has a long flight heritage. These missions will build upon that heritage, extending it to deep space mission operations, an important milestone as we work towards our ultimate goal of transporting humans to Mars.”
i did think it was april 1st but no..
so elon will send 2 passengers..humans i guess..around the moon..
“The private mission would involve circumnavigating the moon and returning to Earth”
thats not going 400kms up and returning..he says around the moon and return..
as i commented yesterday..i remain highly skeptical that this will ever happen and if it does i will still wonder which movie set they have filmed it at! 🙂