TECH

SpaceX Will Fly Two Tourists Around The Moon In 2018

45 years later, we're going back.

28/02/2017 09:12 GMT

SpaceX has announced that in 2018 it intends to fly two private individuals on a trip around the Moon.

It will be the first time that humans have left Earth’s orbit since the Apollo missions and will be the first tourist flight to travel to the Moon.

Ho New / Reuters
The Earth rises over the Moon's surface in this still from a HDTV video camera onboard Japan's KAGUYA lunar probe.

The two individuals have reportedly “paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission.”

SpaceX is already testing the Dragon 2 crew vehicle that will transport the two crew to the Moon and have unmanned tests scheduled for later this year.

Musk thanked NASA’s Commercial Crew Platform which he said had “provided most of the funding for Dragon 2 development,” adding that it had been “a key enabler for this mission.”

SpaceX

In a statement about the Moon mission NASA said that it “commends its industry partners for reaching higher.”

Further adding that “We will work closely with SpaceX to ensure it safely meets the contractual obligations to return the launch of astronauts to U.S. soil.”

SpaceX have confirmed that they will use the Falcon Heavy rocket, the company’s most powerful launch system.

Falcon Heavy will have its first test launch this summer and once operational will be the most powerful rocket since NASA’s Saturn V which last took humans to the Moon.

SpaceX

The Falcon Heavy will be able to produce the equivalent thrust of around eighteen Boeing 747 aircraft and be able to lift around 54 tonnes into orbit.

In case you’re wondering how much a ticket to the Moon costs it looks as though you’re going to be wondering for a little longer as SpaceX isn’t revealing anything about the cost or indeed who the two tourists actually are.

SpaceX recently unveiled its roadmap for colonising Mars including the unveiling of a brand-new spacecraft called the Interplanetary Transport System.

SpaceX

Speaking to the audience and to those that tuned in to watch the livestream Musk presented us with two options: We either stay on Earth and become extinct, or we colonise other planets and live.

As far as Musk and SpaceX are concerned, that other planet is Mars.

In addition to sending humans to the Moon SpaceX also plans to send one of its unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars as well.