Exciting news from SpaceX.
SpaceX recently announced a circumnavigation of the Moon in 2018. Two private citizens have already approached and paid a signifiant deposit for the opportunity to crew a Dragon Spacecraft and “boldly go” where very few have gone before.
What is the Dragon Spacecraft?
There are a lot of things that go into a flight like this and well, like most subject dealing with space travel, one of those is a hefty R&D price tag.
However thanks to NASA’s Commercial Crew Program most of the funds for the development of Crew Dragon Spacecraft has been made available.
The Dragon Spacecraft made history as the first commercial craft to carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2012. Crew Dragon (The Dragon 2) Will be the first of it’s kind to fly human passengers to space.
Originally designed to carry crew, the Dragon spacecraft has been used to carry cargo to the ISS and back. After the Crew Dragon has made several trips to and from the ISS carrying both cargo and passengers as agreed with NASA, SpaceX will make it’s circumnavigation of the moon with the crew of private citizens.
Thorough training and physical assessment will be made for the private citizens set to man the voyage next year paving the opportunity for deep space travel for the first time in 45 years.
According to the SpaceX Website:
Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral – the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions.
Where is this all leading to?
It would appear all of these actions are babysteps toward SpaceX’s overall goal of making a manned mission to Mars and potentially beyond.