Two thrill questers are paying SpaceX to make a trip around the moon somewhere next year.Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX stated on Monday afternoon that it plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year in a spaceship which is currently under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket however to be flown.
Musk even said that the space tourists had already place a substantial deposit for the space trip. Both the travellers will experience extreme fitness test and start their training later this year.
In a blog post SpaceX said, "Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration."
The launch of the first ever privately funded tourist spaceship which is set to take a flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is likely for late 2018, stated Elon Musk.
For takeoff, SpaceX will make use of the same launch pad near Cape Canaveral, Florida, which was earlier used for all the Apollo programs mission. Until now no human have ever travelled past low Earth orbit after the Apollo mission in 1972. Low-earth orbit is necessarily the first rung on the ladder of being in space. It is also where some of the satellites which orbit the Earth reside.
Musk denied to disclose the name of the customers or even mention whether how much did they pay to fly on the weeklong mission, however he did mention that it is “nobody from Hollywood.”
He further said that the two potential space tourists, who know each other, have put down a “considerable” deposit and will be undergoing "extensive training before going on the mission."
He said, "I think there's a market for one or two of these per year," and thereby predicting the space tourist fare which the SpaceX charges can very well attribute towards 10 to 20 percent of the company’s revenue.
The strategized plan for SpaceX’s duo lunar venture to fly some 300,000 to 400,000 miles from the Earth past the moon prior to gravity of the Earth pulls the spaceship back into the atmosphere for a parachute landing.
The trajectory of this mission is quite similar to NASA’s 1968 Apollo mission beyond themoon and back.
The space mission is presently planned to be un-crewed and scheduled to launch in later half of 2018.Elon Musk said the privately funded moon expedition will happen post California-based company starts flying crew to International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
NASA hopes to crew-ferrying the flight by late 2018.
SpaceX’s very own Falcon Heavy rocket, which Elon Musk wants to use for the lunar tourist mission is planned to make a debut test flight sometime later this year.
Besides, the required communications upgrades, the Dragon spaceship in development for NASA astronauts is complimentary for lunar flyby missions. Also, the launch will need licensing by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Richard Branson’s London-based virgin group’s Virgin Galactic is examining a two pilot, six-passenger spaceship to channel customers nearly 62 miles above the Earth, which is high enough to witness a short microgravity and also see Earth’s curvature against the blackness of space.
The ticket for each passenger costs $250,000.
The company does not consider this to be a one-time mission. SpaceX said that there are many others who have expressed strong will in being a part of this trip. The name of the first two space travellers has not been mentioned and it seems that they are paying millions for this adventurous trip.