SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018


#1

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company’s founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27).

The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have “already paid a significant deposit” for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company. The names of the two individuals will be announced later, pending the result of initial health tests to ensure their fitness for the mission, the statement said.

More:
space.com/35844-elon-musk-spacex-announcement-today.html


#2

Wow! Quite interesting indeed. Its says that SpaceX wants to eventually establish permanent mars colonies. I would never want to do that, but it would be cool to to at least create the technology to make it possible.

May God bless you all! :slight_smile:


#3

Hopefully such activities will open up new opportunities to start mining/gathering resources on other planets and asteroids. This would greatly decrease prices of rare resources, and would help prevent shortages, as well as helping promote a new type of business and create many jobs. :thumbsup:


#4

These “two private citizens” are braver than I am. Good luck to them and the SpaceX team.


#5

I question the prudence of squandering a space exploration opportunity for a civilian joy ride, but hey, maybe it’s a fundraiser of sorts. :shrug:


#6

Joy ride or not, think of all the jobs something like this could create long term.


#7

Those private citizens must be two helluva brave individuals.

Humans haven’t been near the moon since the 1970s and they are willing to be the first to conduct a fly-by as commercial tourists, rather than public-funded astronauts. That’s bloody impressive, or incredibly foolhardy, or both.

My hat goes off to them :tiphat:

And yes, this opens up a whole reservoir of future employment opportunities and literally infinite access to limited or depleting resources on earth, which could revolutionize our economies.

I reckon, however, that the timeline of a second quarter 2018 launch is far too optimistic. With a more conservative estimate, I wouldn’t be surprised if the launch gets deferred to circa. 2020 to account for every precaution. This is no mean feat for a private-sector company, in view of the fact that NASA hasn’t attempted anything similar in over 40 years.

Indeed, according to Musk, if all things go to plan the total flight would go about 300,000 to 400,000 miles into space, meaning that it could take humans farther from Earth than ever before - the first lunar mission with humans in 45 years, on a course that would extend past the record 249,000 miles traveled by the Apollo 13 astronauts in 1970. :eek:

Wow. That’s ambitious.

If Musk can pull this one off then maybe he really can fulfil his dream of Martian colonies.


#8

This is a private company


#9

It most certainly is!

I am familiar with the company. They are private but still completed missions for NASA. They are useful. Elon’s companies haven’t received $4.9 billion in government subsidies because they aren’t good at what they do.


#10

I don’t understand how this is “squandering a space exploration opportunity”?


#11

This is just not possible. The company would require full ground support tracking and additional data from the Apollo missions. It’s one thing to launch a commercial payload, and quite another to get a man-rated capsule to travel to the moon (minus the lander, of course).

Yes, it is a private company so they can give this a go. Just make sure a few backup systems are included.

Ed


#12

Ah, I just look at it from the direction of the vast knowledge we still need in manned space exploration. It’s fine that Space X’s long term goal is to offer civilians trips to space. It’s just a bit soon, IMO. Do something more useful is my point. Like have the travelers try the new suit concept AF flight surgeon Thatcher Cardon developed. Heh


#13

The US space program developed a lot of technology we use today, so it’s not without public dividends. The challenges in resource management, etc… could pay off in the long run.

On the one hand, it is a bit frivolous. On the other hand, it’s wealthy investment such as this that will lead towards the first colonies on other worlds, which in the long run could prove very beneficial in terms of resources and the survivability of our species.


#14

How does the tracking you have in mind differ from the tracking that SpaceX has? What data would SpaceX need about Apollo that isn’t already in the public domain?


#15

I agree.

Personally, I tend to believe it would be beneficial for moon colonization first then to Mars. Then begin leap frogging to further space stations. The universe is our oyster.


#16

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