SpaceX to the Moon

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Jordan Walters, Staff Writer

Elon Musk, pioneer in technologies, SpaceX Aerospace company, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, works closely with NASA in several space programs. Elon Musk has also founded companies such as PayPal and Tesla.

In September of 2016, Elon Musk announced his plans to launch his first Mars mission, a robotic test flight, as soon as May of 2018. Another goal of SpaceX is to launch at least one spacecraft to Mars during every interplanetary launch opportunity, which come every 26 months or so, according to SpaceFlightNow news.

According to Business Insider, SpaceX plans to send two paying customers around the moon in 2018. The company plans to use its new Dragon 2 space capsule and Falcon Heavy rockets to complete the mission. The trip would potentially take about a week and may cost over $300 million in technologies and goods.

Musk said he’d give the first mission to NASA rather than to private investors if NASA wanted, reported Business Insider.

Musk did not say how much the travelers would pay for the ride. “A little bit more than the cost of a crewed mission to the space station would be,” reported The New York Times, although the Falcon Heavy itself has a list price of $90 million.

Several tourists have paid millions of dollars to fly on Russian rockets to visit the International Space Station, which is about 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. This would be a much more distant trip since the moon’s is a quarter million miles away from Earth, and the trajectory would take the capsule about 300,000 to 400,000 miles from Earth, according to The New York Times.
If this trip manages to happen in 2018, it could be the start to something new.