"Fly me to the moon."
SpaceX, the private rocket company fronted by billionaire Elon Musk, announced Monday that it plans to send a two-person crew around the moon by the end of next year. The passengers? "Private citizens" who have already "paid a significant deposit," the company wrote in a press release.
The commercial lunar trip looks to mark first the first time humans have ventured into deep space in 45 years.
This presents an opportunity for humans to ... travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.
SpaceX plans to use its under-development Falcon Heavy, the current most powerful space rocket in the world, for the proposed deep space manned mission.
The attached Dragon Crew rocket stage that will carry the moon-goers will first take a crew to the International Space Station earlier in 2018 --probably by way of the Falcon 9 rocket -- before carrying these two (very rich) space enthusiasts to the moon.
Have a seat -- if you can afford it.
How much will these two, so-far unnamed, moon-trippers be paying Elon Musk and company for the deep space vacay? “A little more” than a crewed mission to the International Space Station, Elon Musk said on a conference call about the news Monday. Space tourists flown into earth orbit from Russia in the early 2000s paid upwards of $40 million, but the SpaceX reusable rocket system does make space flight cheaper today.
SpaceX said that if more private trips like this are booked (and there are more in the works, the company noted), costs will eventually decline further.
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