Elon Musk the CEO of SpaceX, the private space exploration company has revealed the plan to send two private citizens on an expedition around the moon in late 2018.
There are no details yet about the two persons but Musk described he knows them personally. SpaceX announced that the two travellers had already paid a “significant deposit” to do a moon mission.
Elon Musk spoke via a telephone news conference that two cosmonauts approach the aerospace and space transport manufacturer about sending them on a weeklong excursion. The SpaceX will send the travellers around the moon’s orbit and propel them back to Earth to land but it won’t land on the moon.
The passengers will go on SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with a new version called the Crew Dragon being developed with help from NASA.
SpaceX said, “Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.”
He added, “I don’t want to say that’s when this will occur. This is a huge amount of risk, will cost a lot, and there’s a good chance we won’t succeed. But we’re going to try and do our best.”
SpaceX mentioned, “Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow”.
This space tourism is becoming famous as well as expensive. Seven tourists have paid $20 million each to fly to the International Space Station on Russia Soyuz rockets since 2001.
This 239,000 mile trip would mark the first moon voyage since Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA is working with SpaceX to make this attempt successful again. Since 2006, NASA has financed several SpaceX spacecraft development. It has collaborated with SpaceX on various commercial cargo missions.
They both made a deal in 2012 that SpaceX to take NASA astronauts to the International Space Station but for some reasons, this project is delayed.
Last month the space agency announced it wants to send trained astronauts on the first tour of SpaceX. Musk told that NASA is a priority and he will think if they want to send trained astronauts on their first expedition to the moon.