Pack your bags; the moon is now accepting visitors.
Rocket company SpaceX has plans to send a group of tourists around the moon and back to Earth by the end of 2018.
Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX, announced the mission last week during a telephone news conference. Two private individuals have already approached the company to request weeklong excursions to the moon sans landing. The travelers would complete emergency training in order to spend a week inside a capsule on the Falcon Heavy, a $90 million rocket.
“This would do a long loop around the moon,” Musk said.
The exact expense of the excursion has not been disclosed, but Musk explained it would be higher than the cost of a crewed mission to the space station.
While the trip is technically possible, industry experts are doubtful that the SpaceX mission will take place so quickly. The Falcon Heavy is years behind schedule and has never actually taken flight, despite an initial 2013 launch date.
“It strikes me as risky,” said Mary Lynne Dittmar, executive director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.
According to Musk, the two future space travelers have asked to remain anonymous for the time being.
Top Photo: Pixabay, CC0
Chamberlain Smith is a freelance writer based in Athens, Georgia.