Elon Musk does not stop, while thinking about tunnels, futuristic transports, electric cars, artificial intelligence, and Mars, he also has time to devise how to use SpaceX as a company of private tours of the Moon.
Today the Musk space company is confirming that in 2018 they will make a private trip around the Moon, this to take to "two citizens" who already have paid a "significant deposit".
Manned trips are the next step for SpaceX
This trip to the Moon will be the first private space mission focused on tourism for SpaceX. This mission includes bringing two people, whose names have not been announced, aboard the Dragon V2 capsule, which will be powered by the Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful of the company to date.
It is estimated that the mission will last approximately a week, where the capsule will cover a distance of between 482,000 and 644,000 kilometers, a journey to circumnavigate the Moon and then return to Earth. In the coming months, health and fitness tests will be carried out for these people, as well as basic training in case of emergency, and later this year the results of these tests will be announced.
SpaceX hopes to be able to make more of this kind of trips, where the goal is completely entertainin. They are sure that there are many people willing to "invest" in this unique experience, like this pair of people who have already paid an amount that has not been announced, but is believed to be millions of dollars.
Part of the preparation for this private mission will start this year , as SpaceX is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, where they will be responsible for bringing the next astronauts to the International Space Station. At the end of this year they will perform the first test when launching Dragon V2 to the ISS, this as part of a demonstration mission in automatic mode, without people on board.
During the second quarter of 2018 SpaceX plans to take the first astronauts aboard the Dragon V2, and depending on the results of these two missions, it is expected that during the second half of 2018 the tourist trip to the Moon will be made.
SpaceX also mentions that all these actions are part of the preparation for its most important and ambitious mission: the arrival on Mars.