Fly me to the moon? SpaceX says this is happening next year

Fly me to the moon? SpaceX says this is happening next year

Out of this world

Text: Lucie Clark

Space is now the next frontier for holiday-makers with rocket company SpaceX, planning to send two tourists around the moon by the close of 2018

According to a New York Times article, billionaire SpaceX founder, Elon Musk made an announcement that two regular, non-astronaut "tourists" filed a request with the company to go on a "weeklong cruise, which would fly past the surface of the moon - but not land - and continue outward before gravity turned the spacecraft around and brought it back to Earth." And Musk, being an accommodating, stand up guy is planning to make this happen as early as 2018.

The two travellers are keeping their identities quiet for the moment and the cost of the trip also under wraps (we're guessing it's not in the same price range as a regular round-the-world plane ticket), but if they manage to pull it off they will claim out-of-this-world bragging rights as the first people to go that far into space since NASA's Apollo moon landing in December 1972. Although they're not the first civilians to fly into the cosmos - a handful of tourists have visited the International Space Station as paying passengers on Russian rockets - this mission will clock a ton more space miles with the planned trajectory around the moon.

Musk plans to use a SpaceX Dragon 2 capsule to ferry the space tourists on their other-worldly trip but has said it will be on autopilot so they won't need to undergo extensive training. As for the timing, although SpaceX has the technical capability, industry insiders are sceptical as to whether the ambitious time line of 2018 will actually be achievable with SpaceX notorious for getting their time frames out by several years on previous projects. Which basically means keep your immediate future travel plans earthward bound.

Fly me to the moon? SpaceX says this is happening next year (фото 1)


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