Space

SpaceX plans to fly people around the moon

A peek into the interior of SpaceX's Crew Dragon
A peek into the interior of SpaceX's Crew Dragon
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A peek into the interior of SpaceX's Crew Dragon
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A peek into the interior of SpaceX's Crew Dragon

When it comes to SpaceX sending people into space within the near future, we generally think of the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft taking astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). In an announcement made this Monday, however, it was revealed that SpaceX plans to fly a couple of paying customers around the moon late next year.

According to the company, the two private individuals have already paid a "significant deposit" for the mission. Before they're allowed to go up, however, they'll have to pass health and fitness tests, plus they will have to complete a period of training which will begin later this year.

The mission is being made possible by NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which provided development funding for the Crew Dragon. That spacecraft will be launched into orbit via SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, which will lift off from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral.

Prior to the around-the-moon mission, the Crew Dragon is slated to begin fulfilling its main purpose of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS. A demo flight will take place first, later this year, in automatic mode with no passengers on board. A second flight, this time with people on board, should subsequently take place in the second quarter of next year. Ultimately, SpaceX is contracted to perform three unmanned cargo missions and one crewed mission to the space station on an annual basis.

"By also flying privately crewed missions, which NASA has encouraged, long-term costs to the government decline and more flight reliability history is gained, benefiting both government and private missions," the company stated.

Additionally, other private teams have reportedly expressed an interest in missions of their own, with more expected to follow.

Source: SpaceX

5 comments
TrendMillwork
What about extended exposure through the Van Allen Radiation Belts?
EZ
What about the Van Allen radiation?
RayFraga
Let's get Kyrie Irving, the latest celebrity flat-earther, booked. PLEASE.
MattII
For those saying about Van Allen Belt issues, Jim Lovell, John Young, and Eugene Cernan all made two moon-shots each, and the first two are still alive (aged 88 and 86 respectively), so clearly it's not a major life-limiter.
Arahant
Im pretty sure the radiation belts arnt all encompassing, and dont have to be passed through with proper planning on the way to the moon. Even if they did though, this isnt the 50s, we can just put extra shielding on this spaceship if its a problem. This really isnt an issue.
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