SpaceX Plans To Take Two Space Tourists On Trip Around Moon In 2018

by NESN Staff

February 28, 2017

Whether you’re an Elon Musk fan or not, it’s hard not to respect his ambition.

Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX announced Monday it’s accepted a “significant deposit” from two private citizens to take a trip around the moon in late 2018. The two space tourists are expected to begin training and undergo health and fitness tests later this year.

SpaceX completed a successful test flight on Feb. 20 for its Falcon 9 rocket that was carrying the Dragon 2 spaceship, the development of which was largely funded by the NASA Commercial Crew Program. For the 2018 moon mission, passengers will be transported in the Crew Dragon spaceship that will be launched using the Falcon Heavy rocket.

“SpaceX is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the (International Space Station) per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew,” the company said in a blog post. “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.”

More information about the two-person flight crew reportedly will be released when/if they pass the health and fitness tests. The private mission will commence once NASA-contracted Dragon 2 missions have begun.

SpaceX said the tourists will launch from Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Fla., on launch pad 39A, which is the same one used for the Apollo missions.

Thumbnail photo via SpaceX

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