SpaceX has announced that it has signed an agreement with the first tourist to make a flight around the moon. For this purpose the BFR rocket, not yet built, will be used, reported in the company's Twitter account.
In the history of the space flight, only 24 American astronauts flew to the moon and back. The last time a human foot went on a satellite in 1974, during the mission "Apollo 17". At the same time, today's moon is regarded as one of the most attractive destinations for space tourism. Some companies are not only planning to send passengers for short flights, but also to build hotels where everyone can spend a few days.
SpaceX has announced plans to organize tourist flights to the moon in February 2017. It was expected that two people who had already paid a "significant down payment" would travel this year around Earth's satellite. The space travel, according to the head of the company Ilona Mask, would last about a week. Nevertheless, it was decided to postpone the flight until the BFR – a reusable booster rocket will be built, which in the future will be used for flights to Mars.
The name of the passenger going to the moon will not be revealed – it will be known on Monday 17 September. The flight date also remains uncertain, although it is not expected to take place until mid-2019. It is intended that tourists fly around the satellite of the earth and return without making a landing. During the journey they will cover a distance of 500 to 650 thousand kilometers, which is twice as much as during the Apollo missions.
SpaceX has signed & # 39; s the world's first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard our BFR vehicle – an important step closer to accessibility for ordinary people. Find out who is flying and why on Monday 17 September. pic.twitter.com/64z4rygYhk
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 14, 2018
A similar project in 2011 was offered by RSC Energia together with Space Adventures (this company organized all flights from tourists to the ISS). It was intended that two tourists and a professional cosmonaut would fly on the modified version of the Soyuz spacecraft during a week-long journey around the moon. The costs of tickets in 2013 were $ 120 million, but in recent years there is no news about the progress of the project.
In the future, the moon should become a kind of intermediate point for missions to Mars. Today Roskosmos is working together with NASA on the creation of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. There are also private projects, for example the inflatable module from Bigelow Aerospace, which is expected to be adapted to a research station.