Future Mars emperor Elon Musk announced Monday that SpaceX has selected two private citizens for a trip to circumnavigate the moon. This trip around the moon will be non-metaphorical in nature. They seriously bought tickets for a moon vacation as though the world is some kind of science-fiction film.
The pair paying for the privilege are expected to fly in SpaceX's Dragon 2 spacecraft, powered by the still-in-design Falcon Heavy rocket, one of the most powerful rockets ever built. SpaceX isn't disclosing the names of the dynamic duo taking the trip but say they've made a "significant deposit." Their identities won't be disclosed until after they've undergone health tests.
“This is a really exciting thing that’s happened,” Musk said. “We’ve been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the Moon... [these passengers] are very serious about it.”
He disclosed that the 300,000-to-400,000-mile trip will last about a week, with passengers undergoing training later this year. It's not clear whether the passengers have any flying experience, but they're about to get a bit while making history.
This isn't the last trip SpaceX will facilitate, Musk said Monday, noting they expect "to do more than one mission of this nature." So, this is just the start of unimaginably wealthy people taking absurdly opulent vacations.
While NASA isn't involved, it was their funding through the Commercial Crew Program that aided the development of the Dragon 2. The flight will launch from Kennedy Space Center's historic pad 39A, where NASA launched Apollo missions to the moon. This will be the furthest into space any human has gone in about 45 years.
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