SpaceX, the California-based aerospace manufacturer and space transport service provider, has announced on Monday that they will be sending two private paying tourists on a journey around the moon in 2018. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the two tourists have already deposited a significant amount and will start training later this year subject to a medical checkup.
According to CNN, SpaceX will be using the same launch pad used by the Apollo program's mission. This will also be the first time that any human will travel past low earth orbit since the final Apollo mission in 1972. Though the names of the first two passengers' names have not been revealed, the SpaceX CEO has said that there have been a number of strong inquiries from people interested in the trip.
SpaceX is relying on the yet untested Falcon Heavy rocket for the trip, along with another untested spacecraft for holding the two tourists, the Crew Dragon. The two concerned persons have reportedly paid a fortune for the trip. The 'tour' amount, though, has not been revealed by SpaceX as of yet.
According to Mail Online, SpaceX said that this mission will last for a week and will "skim the surface of the moon". It will then set on a journey into the depths of the space before returning to Earth, claimed the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. About the cost, Musk said that it would roughly be the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station.
As per the SpaceX CEO, this is the first time in 45 years of human history that a manned spacecraft will travel that deep in the space. He also assured that they will travel faster and further into the Solar system than anyone before them.
The SpaceX CEO has also voiced his concern about the risks involved in the journey. He has said that every space mission involves some kind of risks and hopefully the two tourists are not naïve to them. He added that they will be given ample training before the commencement of the journey in late 2018.