The last time we humans attempted to send people to the moon was almost five decades ago. SpaceX, the American aerospace manufacturer/space transport company, plans to change that by 2018 as it announced that it will fly two people to the moon next year.
SpaceX owner and billionaire Elon Musk announced the news during a press conference.
Musk also revealed that the two people:
- Knew each other.
- Already paid a “significant” deposit for the moon trip.
- Are “very serious” about it.
- Are aware of the risks involved with the moon trip.
- Are “nobody from Hollywood”.
So much for our Leonardo DiCaprio theory.
“They’re certainly not naive, and we’ll do everything we can to minimize that risk, but it’s not zero. But they’re coming into this with their eyes open,” said Musk, who refrained from naming the duo or how much it cost them to be on that trip.
Following the press conference, Musk tweeted:
Fly me to the moon … Okhttps://t.co/6QT8m5SHwn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2017
SpaceX’s moneyed passengers will loop around the moon, fly over the lunar surface, and travel back to Earth. The lunar jaunt will be about 300,000 to 400,000 miles in all, but unlike NASA’s Apollo missions, it won’t involve a moon landing.
For perspective, a one-way trip to the moon would take about 240,000 miles.
“This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again,” said Musk.
In 2010, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully send a spacecraft into orbit and have it safely returned to Earth. It is also the first private company to travel to the International Space Station when it flew there in 2012 for a supply mission.
Musk added that SpaceX is on target for its plan to send astronauts to the space station for NASA sometime next year.