SpaceX plans to bring space tourists on a mission to go around the moon late next year, the company reveals.
Two private citizens who want to orbit the Moon have approached Space X. In fact, the two have paid a “significant deposit to do a Moon mission,” SpaceX said. The company said the two are driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.
The two, however, have to undergo health and fitness tests before they can go on the mission. The two start initial training later this year, the company said.
SpaceX reveals that other flight teams also expressed interest to go on the trip to the moon. The company noted though they could only release additional information about the flight teams upon their approval. Also, the company has to confirm the health and fitness test results of the paying passengers.
Space X will use the Dragon 2 spacecraft for the space tourist mission. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Commercial Crew Program provided the bulk of the funding for the spacecraft. The company will use its own-funded Falcon Heavy rocket for the launching of Dragon 2.
SpaceX Mission For Two Space Tourists Lift-Off From Pad 39A
The company intends to use Falcon Heavy to launch its test flight in summer this year. If successful, the rocket would become the most powerful spacecraft to reach orbit next to the Saturn V Moon rocket.
The company will also launch its Crew Dragon 2 spacecraft in an unmanned mission to the International Space Station. However, Crew Dragon 2 will go on a mission with crew by the second quarter of 2018.
Following the Crew Dragon missions, SpaceX will launch the private mission to go around the moon and then, return to Earth.
This mission will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A near the Cape Canaveral. NASA used this pad for the Apollo program on its lunar missions.
American Dennis Tito, the first-ever space tourist, flew as a member of the visiting crew of Soyuz T-32 spacecraft. The mission involved a trip to the International Space Station. Tito paid around $20 million for the trip that blasted off on April 28, 2001.