Washington D.C, February 28: Every one of us dreams about landing traveling to the Moon, don’t we? While here two people on Monday already have paid money to be sent around the Moon. As it is said, once you start dreaming about your goals, you are half there! Soon the dream to travel around the Moon is on the way to become a reality.
In 2018, two space tourists will be sent for a weeklong trip around the moon on a Dragon spaceship. California-based Space-X is heading towards their goal of transporting humans to Mars. The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Space Exploration Technologies Chief Executive Elon Musk said. The trip to the moon would be followed by other flights that the company plans with NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the US space agency's Commercial Crew Programme.
Elon Musk, CEO of Space-X said that the passengers are “very serious” about the trip and have already paid a “significant deposit”. The trip around the Moon would take approximately one week: it would skim the surface of the Moon, go further out into deep space, and loop back to Earth; approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles. This program consisted of eleven manned flights between 1968 and 1972, including the trip that led Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to tread on the moon for the first time on July 20, 1969.
"I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here," Mr. Musk told reporters in a telephone news conference, a day after teasing via Twitter that an announcement of some sort was forthcoming.
"They're certainly not naive, and we'll do everything we can to minimize that risk, but it's not zero. But they're coming into this with their eyes open," said Mr. Musk, adding that the pair will receive "extensive" training before the flight.
This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them, Musk said. Other people have also expressed strong interest in making such space trips. They were prepared to pay millions for the adventure. The Dragon spaceship in development for NASA astronauts is well suited for lunar flyby missions, Musk added.
Meanwhile, if all goes as planned, lift-off for Musk's two moon tourists will occur next year from the same launch pad near Cape Canaveral that the Apollo program used for its lunar missions. The ride costs around $250,000. The passengers would make a long loop around the moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 miles distance altogether. The mission won't involve a lunar landing, according to Mr Musk.