Spacex Plans to Beat NASA Back to The MOON

By Victoria Fantoche, The Goldwater · 03-01-2017
Photo credit: Pete Riesset | Flickr

Spacex has ushered in a new age of technological advancement and is single handedly pioneering the private space exploration industry. Elon Musk has been instrumental in developing cutting edge rockets that are delivering goods to astronauts at the space station already and the next 15 years promise even more excitement. The latest development from the space industry giant has brought a promise to send two astronauts to the moon and back. The two astronauts will ride on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, a larger version of the unmanned Falcon 9 which is currently being tested. The details are very vague as Musk refuses to give out too much detail regarding the trip to the moon.

It is unlikely that the astronauts will actually step foot on the moon, rather they will swing around the moon just skimming the surface. The trip will consist of 300,000-400,000 miles of space travel and is not without its risks. The astronauts will be private civilians who have already paid hefty deposits to take the trip to the moon and back however SpaceX will not reveal their identity at this time. The only thing Musk would say about the pair is "they do know each other" while hinting about the astronauts, "I don't want to comment too much on their background, but they certainly will have extensive training before going on the mission, and I also can't say the exact amount (they will pay)."*

The space 'tourists' will ride in SpaceX's proprietary spacecraft called the Dragon 2, also known as "Crew Dragon". The Dragon 2 capsule was originally developed under a $2.6 billion contract with NASA to bring astronauts and goods to the International space station. SpaceX made headlines recently for the third successful vertical landing of it's Falcon 9 rocket. Although space travel being possible for the average person may still be decades away, this private trip to the moon is a fantastic step into the future for science fiction fans and aspiring astral explorers. Despite no manned trips under its belt yet, the future also looks promising for the Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy. Manned testing is scheduled to start as early as summer 2018.

Source:

*https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/27/spacex-to-send-two-private-citizens-around-the-moon-and-back/

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