Wednesday, March 1, 2017

SpaceX announces it will take tourists around Earth's moon next year

Last week, I posted a Falcon 9 first stage landing video, which was a triumph for SpaceX.  This week, Elon Musk's space company made even bigger news by announcing the first tourist trip around the moon planned for 2018.  Al Jazeera English reports.

US tech company SpaceX says it plans to send two space tourists around the moon late next year.

SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, says it will use a special spacecraft which doesn't require astronauts.

Al Jazeera's Victoria Gatenby reports.
Before I offer my reaction, I'm sharing those of the people interviewed by CBS Los Angeles in SpaceX To Send 'Private Citizens' On Flight To The Moon.

Hawthorne-based aerospace company SpaceX has announced its plans to send the passengers following a series health and fitness tests later this year.
I concur that this is likely to be overly ambitious.  The Falcon Heavy hasn't been launched yet, so it isn't human-rated.   As for the Dragon 2 capsule, it may be, but according to Tech Crunch, the timing will be close.
Still on track for 2017 is an uncrewed demo launch, now targeting Q4 with the updated timeline. Dragon’s being designed with reuse of up to 10 missions possible, SpaceX notes, and other testing happening for crewed missions during 2017 include testing of spacesuits, parachutes, the crew access arm and more.

This puts SpaceX and rival Boeing in closer proximity in terms of crewed commercial mission launches, with the latter aiming for a first test flight in June 2018, and a crewed test to follow in August. If SpaceX hits its revised timeline, we should see the demo without astronauts launch in November 2018 [Based on the preceding paragraph, that is probably a typo; it should read 2017.], with the first crewed launch in May 2018, so still ahead of Boeing’s time frames.
The Al Jazeera America video mentioned Musk's relationship with Trump.  Trump policy on space was one of the few things about Trump's campaign that I liked, even if I thought it would come at too high a cost.  So far, my thoughts about the cost have been right.  Here's to hoping Musk and SpaceX succeed, so I'll at least get some lemonade out of the lemons America has been handed.


  1. Prediction: This will not happen.

    Exactly 22 months to go before I know for sure whether I was right, but I've seldom felt more confident in predicting something.

    1. Will it happen? Eventually. Will it happen by the end of 2018. Most likely not. I'm with you on that one.