Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has announced that the company plans on flying two private citizens on a trip around the moon in late 2018.
Musk says the two passengers have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission. SpaceX thanked NASA for helping to fund the development of the crew capsule that will be used.
Later this year, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX will launch the spacecraft to the International Space Station. This first demonstration mission will be without people on board.
Once operational missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth. Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A. If successful, the mission would return humans to deep space for the first time in 45 years.