With NASA’s discovery of seven earth-like planets in the solar system TRAPPIST-1, interest in what’s going on above our atmosphere has certainly gotten a bump. While it may be a while (if ever) before we get to explore this new system, the prospect of going to space just got a bit more accessible (for the insanely rich). According to SpaceX‘s Elon Musk, two private civilians have put down deposits and will be taking a trip around the moon in 2018. Musk claimed that “This would do a long loop around the moon,” and that they would not actually land on the surface during this space tourism.
The two people would spend about a week inside one of SpaceX’s Dragon 2 capsules, launched on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. The spacecraft would be automated, but the travelers would undergo training for emergencies, Mr. Musk said. He did not say how much the travelers would pay for the ride, but the Falcon Heavy itself has a list price of $90 million.
The two potential space visitors wish to remain anonymous for now, but Musk claimed that they are not Hollywood types, which rules out Leonardo DiCaprio cashing in in an attempt to recreate Passengers with his latest Victoria’s Secret model. The SpaceX rocket that would be used has yet to be tested off the ground, but a maiden voyage is planned for this summer.
No astronauts have gone beyond low-Earth orbit since the Apollo moon landings in 1972, so this is definitely one giant, privatized leap for mankind.