Normal People Are Going To The Moon — For A Cost

Photo: courtesy of SpaceX.
SpaceX is doing good on its promise to send normal folk into space. In an announcement released today, the company said that it began training two people for a trip around the moon. We're not talking astronauts here: These are normal people. If you're wondering how many lattes you'll have to skip to experience this sort of vacay, let's just say you better start saving those pennies now.
The Verge reports that the two passengers know each other and that they've already put down down a "significant deposit" for the trip. While SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk, didn't release exact figures, he did say that the cost was "comparable" to the cost of sending a crew to the International Space Station. That trip costs NASA a cool $80 million.
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This lunar getaway will take the two passengers on a trip around the moon, into deep space, and then return to Earth. It'll take approximately a week and span about 300,000 to 400,000 miles. As for passport stamps and visas, The Verge adds that filing the trip with the United Nations isn't necessary, but SpaceX will have to alert the Federal Aviation Administration.
"Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration," SpaceX's announcement reads. "We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year. Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow."
If all goes well, the passengers on this maiden voyage will take the Crew Dragon spacecraft with help from the Falcon Heavy rocket. Neither has flown yet, but will undergo testing and their first flights this year.
SpaceX hopes to make civilian space travel more commonplace, with at least one or two trips scheduled each year. So if you've got $80 million lying around and want something you can really brag about — not to mention some envy-inducing selfie opportunities — you know who to contact.
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