SpaceX to Take Two People to the Moon by 2018

Elon Musk, International Space Station, moon ,NASA, NASA Space , SpaceX, travel to the moon

Elon Musk, the CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX,) stated that the company was in fact sending two private citizens into space in the second quarter of 2018. Obviously the tech genius has made far fetched statements before as well but this time they seems more serious that whimsical.

The official website of the exploration company states that ‘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 two individuals in question supposedly know each other as well as the risks involved in this kind of journey.

Elon Musk in front of Dragon spacecraft SpaceX

But it is a journey worth taking as the Dragon spacecraft used for it, launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket, will carry the persons to the surface of the Moon without landing and make a turn to the Earth. If done by SpaceX, this will be a feat to remember after 45 years since Apollo 13 astronauts first put their feet on the lunar body. The total flight would be around 300,000 to 400,000 miles and would beat the record of 290,000 miles traveled by Apollo 13 in 1970. The private journey around the moon will lift off from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral – the same launch pad used by the Apollo program.

SpaceX falcon heavy rocket elon musk

The two citizens in question have paid ‘comparable’ amount to that of lifting astronauts into space to the International Space Station (ISS) said Musk. This amount is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 80 million dollars. But if you are thinking that it might be a Tom Cruise who would go a-sailing to the Moon, you are wrong as Musk has pointed out that they are nobody from Hollywood. The said persons will also undergo rigorous training in health and fitness to be able to undergo the journey. The company on their part is making sure that they minimise any kind of risk on such a venture. This is not a new concept exactly as in 2001, billionaire Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist for an estimated $20m, booking a trip on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station.

SpaceX rocket launcher Elon Musk

What would be interesting to see is if SpaceX would achieve the feat before National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pitches in. Apparently the King of Space exploration is also on the verge of a similar mission but had previously thought for an unmanned one. Nevertheless, it has now been turned into a crewed travel and Elon Musk is more than happy to give NASA priority if it comes down to it.

Next year is going to be the big year for carrying people,” says Musk. “This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really exciting (sic) about sending people into deep space again.

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