Elon Musk Announces SpaceX Plans to Fly Two Space Tourists Around the Moon

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 11:01AM
SpaceX
Space
Moon
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 11:01AM
Elon Musk Announces SpaceX Plans to Fly Two Space Tourists Around the Moon
Image credit: SpaceX
In a special telephone news conference, science entrepreneur Elon Musk has announced plans to allow two private space tourists a personalized trip into space, which will involve traveling around the dark side of the moon before returning to Earth. This extra-terrestrial cruise will be the first time in forty years that human beings have traveled this far from our home planet.

According to Musk, this isn't a new vacation package that SpaceX has started offering— in this instance, it was the unnamed would-be tourists who contacted the company, inquiring about the possibility of this very special travel plan.

The pair will spend approximately a week on board one of Space X's Dragon 2 capsules, which are launched from the main Heavy Falcon rocket. While the entire flight will be automated, the tourists will be given full emergency training in case anything goes drastically wrong during their time in space.



The flight is scheduled to take place late next year, and, according to Musk, will cost "a little bit more than the cost of a crewed mission to the space station would be". For comparison, The Guardian notes that NASA pays the Russian space agency $90 million per person for a flight to the ISS, so it's likely that this trip will cost more than $200 million.

For those of us without that much money at our disposal, it's at least exciting to know that space tourism is growing in legitimacy and popularity. Perhaps, if we're lucky, such trips will eventually be affordable by those who are traveling on a more modest budget - even if the experience will likely be more like an Economy class flight than a romantic getaway for two on an automated personal rocket ship.
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