SpaceX to fly first tourists around the moon next year

SpaceX to fly first tourists around the moon next year

The first space tourists are expected to blast off into orbit around the Moon as early as next year.

US private rocket company SpaceX revealed that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon.

The mission is planned for late 2018, according to SpaceX chief executive, Elon Musk.

The tourists have already paid a “significant” undisclosed deposit.

Musk said: “This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years.”

He said the two passengers “will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them”.

The two unnamed people will fly on board a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year, the BBC reported.

Musk said the co-operation of America’s Nasa space agency had made the plan possible.

He declined to reveal their identities, only saying that they knew each other and that “it’s nobody from Hollywood”.

“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,” Musk said.

“We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year.”

The space tourists would make a loop around the Moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, Musk said.

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