Space Exploration

SpaceX plans first flight of private, paying astronauts around the moon

SpaceX plans first flight of private, paying astronauts around the moon

In a first, SpaceX officials said Monday that the company plans to fly private, paying citizens around the moon next year. It would mark the return of astronauts to deep space after 45 years.

The Hawthorne-based space company said in a statement that the two individuals have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission in its Dragon 2 spacecraft. Initial training, along with health and fitness tests, will occur later this year, SpaceX said.

“This will be a private mission to a paying customer,” said Chief Executive Elon Musk. He wouldn’t say who will make the flight, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018, or how much they’re paying. He would say only that the...

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