New York, Feb 28 : In a major development, Space Exploration Technologies has announced its plan of sending two paying customers on a tourist trip around the moon in 2018.
We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission, read the Space X website.
NASAs Commercial Crew Program, which provided most of the funding for Dragon 2 development, is a key enabler for this mission, said SpaceX.
Meanwhile, NASA has promise to work closely with SpaceX.
We will work closely with SpaceX to ensure it safely meets the contractual obligations to return the launch of astronauts to U.S. soil and continue to successfully deliver supplies to the International Space Station, read the NASA statement.
For more than a decade, NASA has invested in private industry to develop capabilities for the American people and seed commercial innovation to advance humanitys future in space, it said.
NASA is changing the way it does business through its commercial partnerships to help build a strong American space economy and free the agency to focus on developing the next-generation rocket, spacecraft and systems to go beyond the moon and sustain deep space exploration, it said.
Image: Space X Twitter page