SpaceX will fly two people around the Moon next year

The gloves that Buzz Aldrin wore outside the lunar module

The gloves that Buzz Aldrin wore outside the lunar module. Credit

On Monday, SpaceX - the company helmed by Elon Musk - announced in a press release that it will be sending two private citizens on the first-ever commercial trip around the moon before the end of 2018.

The moon is about 240,000 miles away from the Earth, and the travelers will do a flyby of the lunar surface before returning to Earth.

His client saw the bag on a U.S. Marshal's auction page past year and had the winning bid of $995.

"NASA is changing the way it does business through its commercial partnerships to help build a strong American space economy and free the agency to focus on developing the next-generation rocket, spacecraft and systems to go beyond the moon and sustain deep space exploration", the statement reads.

The mission is expected to use an upgraded version of SpaceX's Dragon capsule and its Falcon Heavy rocket in development.

"I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here", Musk told reporters about the passengers. Musk declined to say who had booked the flight, how much they were paying or even specify their gender.

NASA has congratulated SpaceX on "reaching higher".

This first demonstration will not include any live human beings on board and will be in automatic mode.

Just a week ago, SpaceX made its latest delivery from Kennedy Space Center's legendary Launch Complex 39A, where the Apollo astronauts flew to the moon and shuttle crews rocketed into orbit.

NASA last week announced it was studying the possibility of adding crew to the test flight of its megarocket, at the request of the Trump administration.

Musk said that the cost of the mission will be completely covered by the anonymous passengers, according to the Times.

SpaceX is about to do something NASA hasn't done in over 40 years: send two people to go fly around the moon.

Having been inspired by broadcasts of lunar landings while she was growing up, Carlson is an avid collector of space objects, McHugh said.

At the same time, SpaceX is also working on a so-called Red Dragon, meant to fly to Mars around 2020 with experiments, but no people - and actually land.

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