The concept of flying to the moon has been used as a romantic metaphor for decades. But SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is going to make this true if the person is fit enough and has a million dollars to spare. On Monday afternoon, Musk announced that the company will take two individuals on a private moon mission. This mission will not land on the surface of the moon but will give the people an opportunity to observe the moon extremely closely. This private trip will tentatively take off in the second quarter of 2018. The means of transportation will be the SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket which is yet untested. This is the first time a layman will attain the opportunity to take a trip to the moon. Usually, only a qualified astronaut has the authority to do so.
Elon Musk refused to name the two individuals who will embark upon the journey to the moon. Also, the amount paid by them for the mission is not declared but they have paid a significant amount for the same. There is a lot of curiosity about the people who are going to splurge money on this universal vacation. Musk stated that they are very serious about the mission and already know each other. He also clarified that they do not belong to Hollywood. The citizens approached SpaceX last year expressing their willingness to go on such a private moon trip. They will receive extensive training from this year in order to pass the necessary health and fitness tests.
Details about the private moon mission
The circumlunar journey of the private moon mission will take the travelers close to the surface of the moon without actually landing on it. It will take about a week for the space shuttle to reach close to the moon’s surface and will then return back to the Earth. This entire flight will cover a route of approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles into space. This means that the flight will take humans into space farther than ever been. If the mission turns out to be successful, it will become the first lunar mission involving humans in 45 years which would extend the course record of 249,000 miles into space. This record is by the Apollo 13 astronauts in 1970.
The price of the private moon mission is kept under wraps. Elon Musk gave a hint by saying that it will be equivalent to the cost to send astronauts to the International Space Station. This cost is estimated to be somewhere around $70 million. Musk also added that there will be a risk factor during this flight about which the travelers have been made well aware. But the company is doing everything they can to make the journey as safe as possible. After this announcement by SpaceX, a number of flight teams have shown strong interest in this mission. The company is expecting better responses regarding the same.