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SpaceX to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon next year

By Shawn Knight ยท 10 replies
Feb 28, 2017
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  1. SpaceX on Monday said that it has been approached by two private citizens interested in taking a trip around the moon next year.

    The individuals, who haven’t yet been named, have already put down a “significant” deposit for the mission. The Verge notes that while SpaceX CEO Elon Musk declined to say exactly how much the trip would cost, he said it was comparable to the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station.

    For reference, a ticket on the Russian Soyuz capsule costs NASA around $80 million.

    SpaceX said they expect to conduct health and fitness tests and begin initial training later this year.

    When the time comes, the individuals will blast off into outer space abroad a Crew Dragon capsule from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. That’s the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions.

    The private citizens won’t be landing on the moon but will instead circumnavigate it, traveling faster and further into the solar system than any humans before them. Assuming the timeline sticks, it’ll all take place over the course of one week late next year. The total distance traveled will be between 300,000 to 400,000 miles.

    SpaceX says others have also expressed strong interest in similar missions. If successful and sustainable, private flights like this could serve as a significant driver of revenue for SpaceX to the tune of up to 20 percent of annual revenue.

    Image courtesy Mario Anzuoni, Reuters

    Permalink to story.

  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,695   +428

    Haven't they only just had their first successful landings of their rockets (after many crash landings even just last year)? If I could afford it I don't think I'd be first in line for that trip.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,534   +3,914

    Having seen the issues that can develop as with Apollo 1, Apollo 13, a couple of space shuttles and too many rockets to mention, I have serious doubts about a rocket with two untrained occupants; but it's a great goal and Musk is nothing less than a dreamer that seems to eventually make his dreams come true.

    A rocket that would return to earth and land upright was unimaginable just 10 years ago and today it is rapidly becoming a standard that will eventually go to reentry vehicles. Criticize him if you must, but remember that were it not for these crazy dreamers, we would never have come as far as we have, nor as far as we may go!
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    They will go undergo training. I'm sure if they can dole out 80 bar for a trip, what's a few extra thousand to them for a bit of training. Anyone who travels into space since the dawn of space travel has received training, this will be no different.
  5. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,824   +427

    Yea, sure. I'd be first in line. If I was already on my death bed, that way I wouldnt have to pay them back for however much it costs! But seriously, would love nothing more than a space trip. Maybe still possible in my lifetime? lol
  6. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 621   +399

    These guys are hilarious. They can't even get a person into space yet, and here they are straight claimin'.

    Musk is a fraud.
  7. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Evangelist Posts: 434   +510

    Yeah, that whole Tesla thing is a joke, too.

    Dude's company just perfectly landed a rocket back on Earth. Open your mind a little, life's more interesting than you think.
  8. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 621   +399

    Sure, sure. I just love reversed footage - the best CGI trick, ever. It gives me great hope for humanity, and it's SO interesting.
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,695   +428

    I'm in no way criticizing the achievements of SpaceX or Musk's business ventures, I just feel it might be a little premature to announce the civilian flights. Maybe they will be ready but at present from a layman's point of view it seems like they'll be giving themselves a hard target to meet. But then again, that's what sales/PR folk do in my experience.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
    Uncle Al likes this.
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,534   +3,914

    In the bigger picture, he is proving that space can be commercialized far cheaper than NASA, which has spawned others to do the same. He pushes and pushes more, which is often what it takes to get things done. I doubt he listens to sales or PR people because he does it all himself. He is a Type A personality through and through, which will benefit us all in the long run. If he can find two people ambitious or stupid enough to climb into that spacecraft, so be it. He did that with one of his planes and we saw that accident, but there are more and more waiting for such an opportunity........only time will tell us for sure!
  11. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 412   +127

    Ooh! Ooh! Can we pick and choose who we want to send to space? I have a couple in mind that really want a one-way trip!

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