By Nicholas Pendergast
Space is the final frontier, and pioneering SpaceX CEO Ellon Musk promises that two lucky people will get to experience it soon. His company projects that a voyage around the Moon will be scheduled in 2018. The lunar tourists have already placed a significant investment into the trip, and will begin training for space travel around late 2017.
“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,” an official SpaceX blog statement said.
The trip will be the first to take humans beyond low Earth orbit since 1972’s final Apollo mission launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Not by incident, Ellon Musk has chosen the launch pad at Cape Canaveral to take humanity into the next chapter of space exploration.
Low Earth orbit is the level of space just outside of the Earth’s atmosphere; it includes satellites and the International Space Station. LEO altitudes are between 99 miles and 1,200 miles above the surface. The Moon is roughly 250,000 miles away.
Yeah. It’s a big deal.
Ellon and his team are pushing aggressively to insure the date is secured for the 2018 timetable.
“Next year is going to be a big year for carrying people to the space station and hopefully beyond,” Musk told reporters at a SpaceX conference. He plans to continue sending people to the Moon after the first successful voyage.
The Crew Dragon SpaceX craft seen here will carry the tourists to their destination. A Falcon Heavy rocket will thrust the crew out of orbit and into the void of space.