In a startling announcement, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would be taking two civilians (not NASA astronauts) on a trip around the moon in an year’s time.
The two, who have not been named, know each other and according to the South African entrepreneur are ‘dead serious’ about the mission and have already paid ‘significant deposits’ for the venture.
The proposed trip will take a week’s time and will glide over the Moon’s surface, travel further into deep space and then make a return journey, with a total distance ranging between 300,000 to 400,000 miles.
The ploy is to execute the trip in the second quarter of next year on the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon Heavy Rocket (which is set to undertake its maiden voyage this summer) but given Musk’s penchant for unrealistic deadlines, may take some more time to get underway.
While he kept mum on the exact figure the trip would cost, Musk gave some hint, stating that it would bear a cost approximately equal to a journey to the International Space Station (ISS) and back.
The news comes at the same time as NASA contemplating a similar mission and Musk still maintains that the space agency would be placed first on the priority list over the proposed trip, it does indeed take up a lunar orbit mission.
Musk has always been vocal of his support for commercial space traveling and has been constantly making endeavors for the same.
Deadline punctuality, however, still remains a major cause for concern for both the inventor as well as his company. So, we suggest you take it with a grain of salt.