Could SpaceX Really Launch People Around the Moon Next Year?
On February 27, 2017, CEO Elon Musk announced that SpaceX will send two private citizens around the moon.
It will be a private mission with two paying customers, who are not astronauts. According to TheVerge.com, the passengers are very serious about the mission and have already paid a significant deposit.
The trip around the moon will take approximately one week. It will skim the surface of the moon, go further into deep space, and loop back to Earth. It will reach a distance of approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles.
The plan is to do the mission in the second quarter of 2018 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to perform its first launch this summer. Musk is well known for unrealistic deadlines, so we can’t be sure that this will happen.
The two people going on the trip, who weren’t named, already know each other. They will begin initial training for the trip later this year. These customers are doing this knowing the risk of how dangerous the mission could be.
“We will work closely with SpaceX to ensure it safely meets the contractual obligations to return the launch of astronauts to U.S. soil and continue to successfully deliver supplies to the International Space Station,” NASA stated.
Overall, Musk is very confident that people will fly on the Crew Dragon in 2018. “This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again,” says Musk.