Two Squillionaires Are Paying Elon Musk To Send Them To The Moon Next Year

Ambitious tech billionaire Elon Musk has today announced plans to send two people to the Moon via his aerospace venture, SpaceX

The craziest part? The passengers aren’t even astronauts, they just have a lot of money to pay for the mission. According to the SpaceX announcement, the pair have already “paid a significant deposit”.
Using their Crew Dragon spacecraft, the trip will loop the travellers around the moon, essentially skimming close to the surface but not actually landing. They’d then get flung between about 300,000 and 400,000 miles (482,800km and 643,737km) into space before slinging back to Earth.  
SpaceX reckon the brave and exceedingly wealthy individuals will make the trip in the second quarter of 2018. While their identities are unknown, they already know each other. 
Musk hasn’t disclosed the cost of the mission at this stage, but says it’s “comparable” to the costs of a manned mission to the International Space Station
Amazingly, the Crew Dragon is completely automated, meaning it will fly itself for most of the trip, but if shit hits the fan, the rich folk will need to intervene. Their training begins later this year. 
Developed by Boeing and SpaceX, the unique spacecraft was built as a means to transport crew to and from the ISS for NASA, who have paid billions in contracts to the private company. 
The craft’s first crewed mission was meant to happen this year, but has been delayed multiple times. An unmanned trip to the ISS is scheduled for later this year using the Falcon 9 rocket, with a NASA-crewed mission expected to take place six months later.
The rich-people Moon mission is planned for a further six months after that.    
Best of luck, money bags. 
Source: The Verge.
Photo: The Simpsons. 

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