SpaceX announces plans to send two people around the moon in 2018
Feb 28 2017
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks after unveiling the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014.
Elon Musk, the brash inventor and founder of SpaceX, has just announced he plans to send private citizens on a trip around the moon next year.
The passengers have "already paid a significant deposit" for the mission, SpaceX said in a statement today.
The individuals would launch on the Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A and go around the moon, but not land on the surface.
There's no set date for the launch yet, and SpaceX does have a history of running behind schedule.
Musk said SpaceX was approached by "two private individuals" who know one another, whom he did not identify.
"NASA always has first priority", Musk said, "so if NASA decides to have the first mission of this nature be a NASA mission, then of course NASA would take priority".
This mission would take about a week.
The Crew Dragon is an automated vehicle; the system will operate autonomously for most of the flight. A subsequent mission with a crew is expected to fly in 2018.
"Later this year, as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, we will launch our Crew Dragon (Dragon Version 2) spacecraft to the International Space Station". Musk has tweeted that, despite the report, SpaceX will be ready. Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow.
"NASA always has first priority, so if NASA decides to have the first mission of this nature be a NASA mission", Musk said.
"Next year is going to be the big year for carrying people", says Musk. "This should be a really exciting mission, that will get the world really excited about deep space".
Feb 27 2017 The People's Court Judge Joseph Wapner Dead at 97
In 1993, the show's producers announced that Wapner would not be returning and The People's Court went on hiatus for four years. On the program, Wapner became a valuable source of education on the legal process through a non-traditional medium.
Feb 24 2017 Thousands furious over giraffe birth cam being shut down
Park officials ask that curious viewers and supporters not contact them Thursday, as the zoo has been inundated with messages. The park says YouTube chose to take down the feed briefly after animal rights extremists complained about it.
Feb 23 2017 Galaxy Tab S3 leaked render shows up with keyboard cover
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is also expected to be able to support an S Pen stylus, according to the same leaked manual . The keyboard resembles the black and whites of the iPad Pro, which would be a chicklet-style keyboard for the tablet.
Feb 20 2017 North Korean man arrested over killing of Kim Jong-nam
But Malaysian investigators say they identified an additional four men - all North Korean - as suspects in the crime. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that a Vietnamese rice farmer believes that his sister is one of the four arrested .
Feb 19 2017 Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics: Instant Analysis, Highlights
His activity around the rim was huge for the Bulls , as he finished with 15 points and eight rebounds with two blocked shots. The Bulls won't play until next Friday when they host the Suns before traveling to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers Saturday.
Feb 19 2017 Council clears draft law for compensating states' loss
It is essential that enabling laws for GST are passed in second half of Budget Session to ensure its rollout from July 1. A sub-committee of the GST Council's made up of central and state officials had discussed the draft of Friday.