SpaceX to Send Private Citizens on a Trip Around the Moon in 2018
Posted on February 27, 2017
SpaceX announced today that it plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon next year. The 2018 mission will use SpaceX's upcoming Crew Dragon (Dragon version 2) spacecraft. This spacecraft will be unveiled later this year when it embarks on its first mission to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
SpaceX made the announcement today on its website. The release says SpaceX was approached by the two private citizens who have "have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission." They plan to begin training for the mission later this year.
SpaceX says the private mission will circumnavigate the moon and then return to Earth. The lift-off next year will be from from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral. SpaceX says the Dragon spacecraft was designed from the beginning to carry humans. SpaceX also has a goal of transporting humans to Mars.
SpaceX did not reveal how much the private citizens are paying for the trip around the moon but CNN notes that people have paid over $20 million for a trip to the International Space Station to Russian government.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also tweeted the news a couple hours ago saying, "Fly me to the moon ... Ok."
Fly me to the moon ... Okhttps://t.co/6QT8m5SHwn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2017