Published on : Tuesday, February 28, 2017
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Monday afternoon that the space tourists had already placed a significant deposit for the trip.
It will be the first-ever privately-funded tourist flight beyond the International Space Station will use a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts.
The cost of the trip has not been revealed, but the Russian government had previously charged space tourists around $20 million each for a trip to the International Space Station.
The flight, using a Dragon crew capsule and a Falcon heavy rocket, would last about a week. The spaceship would circle the moon, skimming the lunar surface, and then travel deeper into space, up to 400,000 miles away, before returning to Earth.
For takeoff, SpaceX will use the same launch pad near Cape Canaveral, Florida, that was used for the Apollo programs missions. No humans have traveled past low Earth orbit since the final Apollo mission in 1972.
The company doesn’t expect this to be a one-time mission. SpaceX said that other people have expressed strong interest in making the trip.
The crew Dragon capsule has not yet flown in space. Neither has a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is essentially a Falcon 9 rocket with two strap-on boosters, according to Musk. He said there will be ample time to test both the spacecraft and the rocket, before the moon mission.