SpaceX to fly 2 civilians on private trip around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX to fly 2 civilians on private trip around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced on Monday (Feb. 27th) that two private citizens will make a trip around the Moon in 2018, aboard the company’s Dragon spacecraft.

Without revealing the names of the two private citizens, Mr. Musk said that the two individuals have already paid a significant deposit to help the company meet the cost of the mission. The two civilians’ names will be announced later, pending the result of their initial health tests, which will be conducted to ensure their fitness for the Moon mission.

In a newly released statement, SpaceX said, “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.”

To send the two paying civilians into space aboard one of the Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX will use its Falcon Heavy rocket.

The two paying passengers will be the only individuals on board, and the mission would be a weeklong trip around the Moon. Mr. Musk said it would be a long loop around Earth’s only natural satellite.

SpaceX has a $2.6-billion commercial crew contract with NASA, and the space firm is required to provide 2-6 flights to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Dragon capsule that is capable of carrying seven passengers at a time. The U.S. space agency currently pays nearly $80 million per passenger on the three-person Russian Soyuz vehicle.